The ACM Honors is a special night aiming to celebrate not only our favorite singers and performers, but also those in the industry who contribute to all its greatness from behind the scenes.
Appropriately held in the “mother church” of country music last Wednesday (August 21), stars like Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Chris Young, Lauren Alaina, Maddie & Tae, Midland, Ashley McBryde, Chris Janson, Tenille Townes, and more came out to present, perform, and most importantly appreciate the hard work of the genre’s most valued contributors at the 2019 ACM Honors.
As usual, the show was full of amazing performances, lots of laughs, and speeches that got us a little teary eyed. Keep rolling scrolling to see our favorite and most touching moments of the night!
Keith Urban Presented Miranda Lambert With Her Award and Performed Duet “The House That Built Me”
One of our top favorite moments had to be when Keith Urban presented Miranda Lambert with the prestigious ACM Gene Weed Milestone award.
“In 2005, Miranda came out and we toured together. It’s crazy — that was 14 years ago,” Urban told the packed room. “What I love about her is that I saw a kindred spirit right away. She did what I used to do: whoever I was opening for, I used to sit in front of the stage and watch every show and I’d be taking mental notes. She was at the front of my show every night we played. And I remember thinking, ’I know that person really well.’ And now, watching your journey go from that to making records that were always about you. You followed your muse wherever you went. You made the records you wanted to make. You stayed true to yourself, and here you are accepting this award.”
The two then performed a magical version of Lambert’s 2010 hit “The House That Built Me,” sharing a mic in proper duet fashion.
Midland Presented ACM Songwriter of the Year Award to Shane McAnally and performed “Burn Out,” written with Josh Osborne and McAnally.
It’s a given that anytime Midland takes the stage, we’ll be guaranteed some good entertainment and a lot of laughter. Having a special bond with Shane McAnally for seeing the band’s potential early on, Midland was also honored with the task of presenting him with the ACM Songwriter of the Year award. Excelling in lightheartedness, the group’s Cameron Duddy started the speech off by saying “You know, there are two types of men in this world, and Shane McAnallyis none of them.”
“The first time we walked in to meet with Shane, I didn’t have my shirt on,” Midland‘s Mark Wystrach said. “Little did you know a little gag, a little inside joke (goes) on to be one of the most momentous moments of your life.”
Caylee Hammack performed Broken Wings by Martina McBride
Caylee Hammack has a powerhouse voice that will stop you in your tracks, and we still can’t get over the way she belted out Martina McBride’s hit “Broken Wings.” Only 3 years ago, Hammack would sing that same song for $20 on Nashville’s Broadway to anyone who would listen, sharing that McBride is one of her biggest inspirations.
“To honor you tonight was sincerely one of the biggest honors of my life” the rising star shared in a post on Instagram shortly after.
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3 years ago, I would sing this same song almost every night for $20 across the alleyway at @tootsies_orchid_lounge for whoever would listen. Tonight, I got to walk across that alleyway and into the backstage entrance of @theryman to honor the woman who brought this song to life. @martinamcbride you are such an inspiration to so many young artists who would not be who they are if it were not for artists like you, who took chances on songs and stories that no one else could do justice. You made the world stop and listen. To honor you tonight was sincerely one of the biggest honors of my life. Thank you God for moments like this. 📸(illegally in the mother church?): @mikeyreaves
Shane McAnally’s Emotional Acceptance Speech
We couldn’t help but get a little in our feelings listening to Shane McAnally‘s acceptance speech for ACM Songwriter of the Year.
“I’m just still really in awe of the fact of this wildest dream, that I get to write songs that people I love and look up to sing, and put on the radio,” he went on to say, “I didn’t know that you could write songs for people. I didn’t know that was a job.” he told the crowd.
McAnally also spoke about the love and acceptance Nashville has as a community and our hearts swelled with pride for the city we call home!
Trisha Yearwood Delivers a Surprise Performance
We love surprises… especially when that surprise is Trisha Yearwood! Yearwood’s official role was to be a presenter for the ACM Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award to WME partner and industry member Gayle Holcomb in celebration of her advocacy for the Academy of Country Music’s charitable arm, ACM Lifting Lives. However, Yearwood continued on saying, “I wasn’t even sure I was gonna be able to be here tonight, and when I found out this [award] was going to Gayle, I couldn’t miss it for the world. I’m not scheduled to perform, but I’m going to.”
She then sang “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road),” off her recent Frank Sinatra tribute album Let’s Be Frank, sharing that Holcomb was one of her biggest cheerleaders and encouragers for the project.