Miranda Lambert came out victorious at the 2016 ACM Awards in the hotly-contested category of Female Vocalist of the Year, up against both powerhouse vets and impressive newcomers like Carrie Underwood and Kelsea Ballerini.

Lambert took the mic looking stunning and first gave a shoutout to her friend Underwood, congratulating her on a spectacular performance prior to the award.

“Carrie, you just killed it,” she gushed. “I got to sing with Carrie on Friday and she is literally the perfect singer and such an inspiration to me and I love you, girl."

Lambert went on to note the talent of the rising stars, particularly about singing songs they wrote themselves, like Ballerini, who performed her tunes “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Peter Pan” earlier in the night. Other nominees included Jana Kramer and Kacey Musgraves.

“I’m excited for women in country music and I’m glad to be here as one of them,” Lambert said. “I love y’all, fans. Thank you so much!"

Lambert also performed at the ACM Awards later in the evening in an epic collaboration with Keith Urban and Billy Gibbons for ZZ Top’s “Tush.” She recently performed in the UK as part of the mega-festival C2C, including a unique cover of “You’ve Got a Friend” with bestie and fellow country star Ashley Monroe. Lambert is headed out on tour with Kenny Chesney this summer.

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