Merle Haggard was honored with a special tribute from George Strait and Miranda Lambert at the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday. Lambert and Strait performed "I'm A Lonesome Fugitive" and "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" in a tribute medley to Haggard, the recipient of the Crystal Milestone Award and one of the architects of the Bakersfield sound. This year marks Hag's 50th year in country music.
Garth Brooks presented the honor to the trailblazing country icon. "It's no news that Haggard has always been an outsider," Brooks said in his glowing intro. He later led a rendition of "Happy Birthday" to the legend.
"Country music's been great to me all my life," Haggard said in brief remarks. "Thanks for making this an eventful night. Good evening."