Miranda Lambert Leaves Fans in Tears With Her Hauntingly Beautiful Rendition of “Carousel” At 2023 ACM Awards

The audience watched in awe as Lambert delivered the most poignant moments of the night.

By

Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on May 12, 2023

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Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC

Miranda Lambert stunned the 2023 ACM Awards audience with her angelic vocals on Thursday evening when she took the stage to perform the emotional track, “Carousel.”

Donning an off-white tulle gown, Lambert stood center stage in a set that resembled an abandoned circus. With an empty carousel behind her and fog rising from the stage, Lambert allowed her flawless vocals to shine as she conveyed the emotional storyline of the song.

The audience watched in awe as she delivered the most poignant moments of the night, bringing many to tears with her hauntingly beautiful rendition of “Carousel.”

Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC
Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC

“The Most Beautiful Performance Of All Time”

Her “Carousel” performance immediately earned praise from her fans.

“The most beautiful performance of all time,” one Instagram user commented, while another shared, “You can silence a room with your voice and your performances are always magical. Love love love your music.”

The emotional song, co-written by Lambert with Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick, is featured as the final track on her latest album, Palomino.

Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Christopher Polk for PMC
Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Christopher Polk for PMC

Story Behind The Song

Lambert shared the story behind the “bittersweet” song prior to the show. She says that she and her co-writers added bits and pieces from their personal lives throughout the lyrics.

“I mean, there’s sweet stories in that one too Smith County is the county I grew up in, and Johnny Davis is a road out by where my farm is. And we took some nuggets from our surroundings to make that song feel very real,” she explained. “Because parts of it are real for each of us.”

Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Christopher Polk for PMC
Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Christopher Polk for PMC

As they were writing, Lambert said they felt moved by the lyrics and thought, “This is getting somewhere…stuff’s happening.” As she began “feeling things,” the rest of the song fell into place.

Often Brings Lambert To Tears

“Carousel” has become a staple in Lambert’s setlist, and while she sings it often, the song still brings her to tears.

“When it becomes her at the end when she says, ‘I miss my Harland,’ it’s like kills me. And even just being a writer on it, like it still kills me. I know what’s gonna happen. We made it up, but it’s still just pierces my heart every time. It’s her. Like, if you write a song that makes your own self cry, I guess we did something right.”

Brendan McLoughlin, Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC
Brendan McLoughlin, Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC

Stunned In A Blue Gown On Red Carpet

Ahead of the 2023 ACM Awards, Lambert had jaws dropping on the red carpet. Styled by Tiffany Gifford, she made her way down the red carpet in a stunning electric blue gown by Lê Thanh Hòa. She topped off her look with Le Silla pumps and earrings and a ring by Gismondi 1754.

Her husband, Brendan McLoughlin, was by her side on the red carpet and inside the show. Lambert was nominated for five ACM Awards. With her latest nominations, Lambert made history as she earned her record-breaking 17th Female Artist of the Year nomination, surpassing Reba McEntire, who has 16 total Female Artist of the Year career nominations.

Brendan McLoughlin, Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC
Brendan McLoughlin, Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC

2023 ACM Awards

The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards featured performances by Jason Aldean, Jordan Davis, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Dolly Parton, Jelly Roll, Ed Sheeran, HARDY, Keith Urban, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, Bailey Zimmerman and more.

Nine awards were announced during the live broadcast, including Entertainer of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Duo of the Group, Group of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Song of the Year, and Music Event of the Year. Several winners were also announced ahead of the show.

Epic Collaborations

Additionally, “Country Music’s Party Of The Year” featured a star-studded list of collaborations and unforgettable moments. Reigning ACM Female Artist Of The Year Carly Pearce teamed up with Trisha Yearwood to perform a special medley of in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Yearwood winning Female Artist Of The Year. 

Meanwhile, Cole Swindell joined forces with Jo Dee Messina to deliver an epic performance of the “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” remix and Ashley McBryde took fans to Lindeville with a performance of “Bonfire At Tina’s.”

Gabby Barrett, BRELAND, Brandy Clark, Jordan Davis, Mickey Guyton, Tyler Hubbard, Dustin Lynch, T.J. Osborne, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, MacKenzie Porter, Dak Prescott, Emmitt Smith, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood served as presenters during the ceremony.

The two-hour awards show streamed live for a global audience across 240+ countries and territories exclusively on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch.

Co-hosted by country music icons Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks, the 2023 ACM Awards broadcasted live from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas at 7/6c.

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Written by

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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