By Amanda Wicks

The 10th Annual ACM Honors will take place tomorrow, August 30th in Nashville, and with it comes a brand new award celebrating the spirit of country music legend Merle Haggard. While many have speculated about who would be the award’s first recipient, we here at called it when we guessed fierce female musician Miranda Lambert would be an excellent choice.

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Selecting Lambert came down to a double voting process. Her name was approved as a possibility by the ACM Special Awards Panel and then voted on by the ACM Board. “Merle was an integral part of the Academy’s history, and it was important to us that we honor his legacy. We couldn’t imagine anyone better suited to receive the first ever ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award than Miranda,” said ACM Executive Vice President and Managing Director Tiffany Moon in a press release.

Lambert was judged based on specific criteria relating to Haggard’s contribution to country music. The ACM stated it “will be awarded to a singer-songwriter and performer whose career reflects the uncompromising integrity and steadfastness of spirit embodied by the late Merle Haggard. Beyond crafting iconic songs and delivering genuine performances, this deserving artist—like Haggard—is characterized by their singular vision in carving an indelible path in country music.”

Lambert is also slated to perform at the ceremony, which will also feature performances from Alicia Keys, Maren Morris, Luke Bryan, hosts Lady Antebellum and many more. The 10th Annual ACM Honors will air on September 9th at 9pm on CBS.

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