Best: Miranda Lambert Fills Big Shoes
The song Miranda Lambert sang at the ACMs could also serve as the mission statement for her entire career. "Keeper of the Flame" is the final single from her double album The Weight of These Wings, and it lays out her intention of keeping the songwriting traditions of her country music heroes alive. Delivering that message obviously meant a lot to Lambert, who wiped away tears when the audience gave her a standing ovation following her performance. Even though she beat Brooks & Dunn's record to became the all-time winningest artist in ACM Awards history this year, Lambert's career choices prove that she's really not making music for the glory of winning awards and racking up Number Ones. In an era where many mainstream country stars would be hard-pressed to name five George Jones hits off the top of their head, Lambert has delivered the answer song to the Possum's 1985 single "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes," in which Jones wondered aloud who would pick up where he, Hank, Johnny and Conway left off. With that ACM performance, Miranda Lambert laid Jones' fears to rest. H.K.