On Sunday night, Miranda Lambert performed "Keeper of the Flame," from her double album The Weight of These Wings, on the ACM Awards stage. Written with Natalie Hemby and Liz Rose, it's a song that acknowledges the trailblazing efforts of those who came first, as well as the importance of carrying on traditions. It's a message that Lambert has made a central component of her artistry, and factors into her clenching the record for most-awarded artist in ACM Awards history during the 53rd ACMs.
With 32 total ACM trophies to her name after this evening – including a ninth consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year honor – Lambert was quick to recite the lessons she learned by watching her musical forebears.
"I just always try to live in the moment I'm in and make myself better and try to be better every other time," she told reporters in the ACM Awards press room. "I try to reinvent and try to be a better writer and a better singer and a better performer, a better person all around I guess, and so I don't dwell on any of the past."
Lambert admitted those were perhaps lofty goals to keep, but her consistent track record of album sales, critical appreciation and awards domination was justification enough.
"It's a lot of pressure but I know it's so important I keep that attitude I have," she said. "It's why I'm standing here right now. It's because of amazing women that have stood here before."
Lambert extended that appreciation to her female contemporaries, emphasizing that they'd be able to see the Entertainer of the Year category include more women soon, if they continued to work at the same level. She also stood in solidarity with her "Somethin' Bad" collaborator Carrie Underwood, who has on occasion been painted as Lambert's adversary, for the singer's performance of "Cry Pretty" and public return after a nasty injury in November left her sidelined.
"It makes me proud to be a woman in this industry when I see her sing up there and do that," she said. "She's one of the greatest singers of all time in any genre of music and can sing me under the table. I say that every time and I will continue to say that, but I'm just proud of her and I know how strong she is and how hard she's worked."
This summer, Lambert joins up with Little Big Town on the Bandwagon Tour, which kicks off July 12th in Charlotte, North Carolina.