Miranda Lambert Captivates With ‘Magical’ Performance Of ‘Carousel’

Lambert silenced the audience with her powerful performance.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 12, 2023

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Miranda Lambert; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC

Miranda Lambert stunned the 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. 

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

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

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. 

“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.”

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

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.

Brendan McLoughlin, Miranda Lambert at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas; Photo by Gilbert Flores for PMC, ACM Awards
Brendan McLoughlin, Miranda Lambert at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas; Photo by Gilbert Flores for PMC, ACM Awards

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.

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.

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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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.