Lambert chose to honor the country legend by performing Lynn’s controversial 1973 hit, “Rated X”. The gusty song is all about divorce and the assumptions and rumors that pop up in its wake.
“Well if you’ve been a married woman and things didn’t seem to work out, divorce is the key to bein’ loose and free so you’re gonna be talked about,” Lambert sang from the Ryman Auditorium stage.
“Thank you, Miss Loretta, for that song, and being so brave, and paving the way for me to stand up here and sing a song like that. She sang songs that were not necessarily appropriate at times, like this for me,” Lambert said afterward, referencing her recent divorce from Blake Shelton. “I’m glad to be here singing for my friend.”
Lynn responded humorously.
“I just thought I’d drop in to see if Miranda was keeping it country,” Lynn joked. “I want to thank you all for the award, and I’ll be back next year for another one.”
Jake Owen served as host for the event in downtown Nashville, Tenn. for the second year in a row. Other notable moments from the ceremony included Jason Aldean’s musical tribute to Alabama, who received the Career Achievement Award. Holly Williams also shared a cover of Eric Church’s 2011 song, “Like Jesus Does”, before he was presented with the Jim Reeves International Award.
Click below to watch Miranda Lambert’s performance of Loretta Lynn’s classic track, “Rated X”.