The country music community paid their respects to Joey Feek Sunday at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
Before presenting the best vocal group award, industry vets Martina McBride and Darius Rucker memorialized the late Joey & Rory singer, who died of cancer last month.
“A few weeks ago, we lost a member of our country music family with the passing of Joey Feek,” Rucker said.
Added McBride: “Joey was more than a wonderful singer and an ACM-winning artist along with her husband Rory. She was a beloved mom, daughter, family member and friend.”
With that, Rucker asked the packed audience to join him in a round of applause, and the crowd erupted in a solemn standing ovation.
“Of all the different ways we could honor Joey, we think that what would mean the most to Joey and her family is just one more time, for all of us, her fans who loved her, to give her a big round of applause,” Rucker said.
While Feek’s widower, Rory, wasn’t on hand for the awards, his daughter from a former marriage Hopie and friend Julie were in attendance.
“God bless them and God bless you, Joey,” McBride said.
Feek – who was 40 when she died – is survived by her husband Rory, 50, and their 2-year-old daughter Indiana. America followed the singer’s brave battle with cancer after she and Rory began sharing their journey on his blog, This Life I Live.