Miranda Lambert’s divorce from fellow country superstar Blake Shelton caused her deep pain but her reflection on the heartache brought her glory Sunday at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
Lambert 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, the eighth straight year that she has taken the honor.
“I just want to say thank you for letting me ease my heartbreak — and sharing it with me,” Lambert told the gala ceremony in Las Vegas.
Lambert thanked her father who was in the audience — where Shelton was notably absent in a crowd of country music A-listers.
Lambert, 33, was married to Shelton for four years after years of dating. He has since been in a serious relationship with pop star Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, 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 instead of “Moonlight.”
Song of the Year, the first award of the evening, was read as going to “La La Land” star Emma Stone before the co-presenter, magician David Copperfield, set the envelope ablaze to reveal the real winner.
Key performances at the gala included a tribute to father of rock ‘n’ roll Chuck Berry, who died last month at age 90.
Country stars Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley played a cover of Berry’s classic “Johnny B. Goode” in a trio with guitarist Joe Walsh of country-influenced rock all-stars the Eagles.
Unlike recent US 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 US President Donald Trump, but country music historically has been the favorite genre of many conservative white Americans.
The Academy of Country Music Awards are one of two top prizes in the genre along with the Country Music Association Awards.