Why Miranda Lambert Replaced Chris Stapleton's Wife at ACM Awards

Despite originally planning to perform with husband Chris Stapleton, Morgane Stapleton was forced to pull out at the very last minute. Luckily, Miranda Lambert and her car from the start of the show were on hand to fill in for the absent partner.

"Due to her prior doula commitment, Morgane Stapleton is unable to join Chris Stapleton at the Bluebird as scheduled," the ACM said in a statement to PEOPLE. "Miranda Lambert will instead take the Bluebird stage with Chris tonight for 'Maggie's Song'."

This will mark Lambert's third performance of the night alongside her opening salvo with Elle King, performing "Drunk (And I Don't Want to Go Home)," before joining Jack Ingram and John Randall later in the show.

"Maggie's Song" actually works with Lambert thanks to her efforts with her MuttNation adoption drive. The song is a tribute written for Stapleton's rescue lab terrier that passed away. The song appears on Stapleton's latest album, Starting Over.

"It's all true stuff," Stapleton said in a chat with the Los Angeles Times (Via PEOPLE). "There's no embellishment in it," before saying, "That one was hard to sing. I kept crying through a lot of it."

Lambert's MuttNation efforts just launched a new campaign titled "Love Harder." It's an attempt to get dogs that are "easy to love, but harder to get adopted," like Pitbull mixes, black dogs, older dogs and others with special needs.


"The truth is these dogs are the easiest to love, maybe because they need us the most," Lambert added in a statement. "But with so many misperceptions, people sometimes shy away from adopting them. I want to people to see the strong bonds and the special love that can be shared with these harder to get adopted dogs. So, I’m asking anyone who has adopted or is fostering a senior dog, a dog with disabilities, a pit mix or a wonderful big black dog, to send us their pictures and stories and help pave the way for others who may be considering giving one of these great pets a second chance and a forever home."

So while Stapleton was in need of a last-minute replacement, the results couldn't have been more perfect. Not to mention the performance was one of the more memorable of the night.