Reflections on divorce bring Miranda Lambert glory at country music awards

Miranda Lambert won Album Of The Year and Female Vocalist Of The Year.
Miranda Lambert won Album Of The Year and Female Vocalist Of The Year.PHOTO: REUTERS

LAS VEGAS (AFP) - Miranda Lambert's divorce from her fellow country superstar Blake Shelton caused her deep pain but her reflections on her heartache brought her glory on Sunday (April 2) at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

She won Album Of The Year for The Weight Of These Wings, her two-disc work that revolves around the disintegration of her nearly decade-long relationship with Shelton.

She also won Female Vocalist Of The Year for the eighth straight year. "I just want to say thank you for letting me ease my heartbreak - and sharing it with me," she told the gala in Las Vegas.

She thanked her father, who was in the audience where Shelton was notably absent.

Lambert, 33, was married to Shelton for four years after dating him for years. He has since been in a serious relationship with pop star Gwen Stefani, while Lambert is involved with singer Anderson East.

Entertainer Of The Year, the highest-profile award of the night, went for the second straight year to Jason Aldean after his latest chart-topping album They Don't Know, while Aldean's sometime collaborator Thomas Rhett won Male Vocalist Of The Year.

Rhett also took Song Of The Year for Die A Happy Man - after a pointed spoof of a snafu at this year's Oscars where La La Land was mistakenly announced as Best Picture. Song Of The Year, the first award of the evening, was announced to have gone to La La Land star Emma Stone before the presenter, magician David Copperfield, set the envelope ablaze to reveal the real winner.

Key performances at the gala included a tribute to Chuck Berry, the father of rock 'n' roll who died last month at age 90.

Country stars Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley played a cover of Berry's classic Johnny B. Goode with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh.

Unlike recent American awards shows including the Oscars and Grammys, the Academy of Country Music Awards steered clear of overt politics.

Hollywood and the pop music world have been overwhelmingly critical of President Donald Trump, but country music historically has been the favourite genre of many conservative white Americans.

The Academy of Country Music Awards, along with the Country Music Association Awards, is among the top prizes in the genre.