Lee Ann Womack received the prestigious ASCAP Golden Note Award, at the annual ASCAP Country Music Awards, held Monday night, Nov. 12, in Nashville, Tenn. The award recognized Womack's numerous contributions to country music over the past two decades.
"My manager told me initially, and I said, 'What? Are you kidding? That is so, just so nice,'" Womack recalled to PopCulture.com. "I always feel like I'm on the outside looking in, kind of just uncomfortable, but I am comfortable around songwriters, and so it's a good thing because we have so many in and out of our house all the time. I love it, and so I'm happy to be here."
The 52-year-old is a proud mom to daughters Aubrie and Annalise, both aspiring singer-songwriters. But after more than two decades in the business, Womack feels a maternal protection to not just her children, but all of the current emerging artists.
"We stay so busy as artists that I feel like I'm on that hamster wheel and I don't ever stop to look around and see what everybody else is doing or saying or anything," explained Womack. "But I have raised a couple of artists-songwriters and I love them. I was telling somebody earlier, I feel like I've got my own kids that I gave birth to that are writing songs and singing, but I feel like they're all my kids. I just think they're so cute, and I watch them and want to help. So I kind of feel like I'm everybody's mother when I come to these things."
Womack might have been surprised by the industry recognition, but her peers certainly weren't. Buddy Miller, Alison Krauss and Chris Stapleton each performed hits by Womack, with Carly Pearce presenting the trophy.
"I love the '90s country females, and she is one of the best," Pearce told PopCulture.com. "And I get to share in Lee Ann winning an amazing award tonight, and get to tell her story, and get to introduce some unbelievable musical acts for her that are honoring her and her music, like Buddy Miller, Chris Stapleton, and Allison Krauss. So I'm kind of freaking out."
Brothers Osborne, who were also in attendance, credit Womack with being one of the most-talented performers of this generation.
"There are some singers that are so good, you're like, 'Man, that's amazing,' and then there are some singers that are so good and you're like, 'I don't even understand what the hell you're doing right now,'" gushed John Osborne. "That's how good she is. And she's always stayed true to herself. She wasn't afraid to get more country when things got less country and she knows how to sing legit style country songs."
"She has that same type of quality that Chris Stapleton has where they both can sing tons of tricks and notes but it's way more than that," TJ Osborne added. "Lee Ann, you'll listen to her sing and you can just feel it. It doesn't even have to be a song that you can personally relate to. She can deliver it in a way that can bring you right to tears. And honestly, we're looking forward to getting in there and seeing her perform tonight because we know it's going to be great."
With nine studio albums released, more than 20 charting singles and numerous awards, including a coveted GRAMMY, Womack isn't sure what she wants to do next, but she knows she isn't finished.
"I have done a lot of what I've wanted to do," Womack conceded. "I've accomplished everything I ever set out for myself, so maybe I didn't shoot high enough, I don't know. But I'm at that point in my life where I'm kind of reassessing what I'm doing and trying to figure that out."
Photo Credit: Getty images/Jesse Grant