Miranda Lambert paid tribute to the Eagles at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors ceremony Dec. 29, even though the creators of the tune could not be in attendance.

The band were supposed to be honored at the event, but because of founding member Glenn Frey’s intestinal surgery, they had to defer until next year. Though they were not in the audience, the ceremony still honored the group in absentia with Lambert’s heartfelt performance of their hit “Desperado."

The song is the title track from the group’s 1973 album, written by Frey and Don Henley. Lambert stood center stage by herself, singing the tune with genuine emotion and looking stunning in an all-black ensemble. Her powerful yet gracefully restrained vocals were a perfect match for the song, an iconic storytelling ballad with which almost every music fan is familiar.

Lambert has recently been opening up about her split with Blake Shelton, urging fans not to “take a side” and saying that she’s taking her time healing. The artist was recently named by Forbes as the eighth top-earning woman in music for 2015 with $28.5 million. She’s been known to take a stand for female artists in country music, noting that it can be difficult to navigate at times.

“It’s definitely more pressure on women, and we put so much pressure on ourselves to look a certain way, to look like other women,” she says to Spin magazine. “It’s hard; some days you do feel beautiful, and then someone will knock you down with a mean comment. It’s exhausting. Weight issues, fake lashes and tanning, and all the stuff that goes into just going out into public sometimes. I wish I could just not do it for a day and see what happens.”

Lambert released her single “Bathroom Sink” this fall, which she performed live at the CMA Awards Nov. 4. She also won the CMA for Female Vocalist of the Year and noted her gratefulness, saying she “needed a bright spot” this year.

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