It was a special honor for Miranda Lambert to tribute musical legend and her personal friend, Loretta Lynn, at last week’s CMA Awards. The “Bluebird” singer joined Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire for a medley of Lynn’s hits to open the show.
Lambert says she was fortunate enough to spend time the country legend, who died on Oct. 4, while she was alive.
“I spent some time with her, and you meet a lot of people in a career, but it’s one of those memories that’s forever burned into my heart,” Lambert told People on the CMAs red carpet. “She was such a lovely human being and made me feel so at home. It’s kind of intimidating to hang out with your hero all day, but she made me just feel like an old friend.”
Lambert was even able to sing with the “You Ain’t Woman Enough” singer on a few occasions: She and Lynn once teamed up with Sheryl Crow for a renewed version of “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
While speaking on the CMA Awards red carpet, Lambert noted that just about every memory with Lynn is special.
“I’m thankful for every time she held my hand and signed my guitar and told me about a memory and gave me advice,” she says.
That guitar — a treasure in the Texas’ natives eyes — doesn’t travel with her. It’s too precious.
“I play it at home. I don’t take it on the road, for sure,” she adds.
Lynn’s tribute was the opening feature of this year’s CMA Awards. Underwood kicked things off with “You Ain’t Woman Enough” before Lambert walked out on stage for Lynn’s iconic “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (with Lovin on Your Mind).” McEntire joined them with “You’re Looking at Country,” changing the lyrics to say, “If you’re looking at Loretta, you’re looking at country.” The trio finished with a collaborative effort on “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”