JASON ALDEAN won Entertainer of the Year at last night’s ACMs . . . and CHRIS STAPLETON won Best Male Artist, and Album of the Year for “From A Room: Volume 1”.
But the big story was MIRANDA LAMBERT, who became the most-awarded artist in ACM history. She won Song of the Year for“Tin Man”, and Best Female Artist. That put her at 31 wins, which passed Brooks & Dunn who have 29.
As for the show. They wasted no time addressing the Route 91 tragedy. Instead of opening with music they had Jason Aldean,Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris, and Miranda Lambert each take turns saying a few words.
Jason closed it with, quote, “With respect and love to the victims, our friends family and fans, we celebrate the music tonight. America, this is your ACM Awards.” It was honest and respectful and it allowed the show to get started.
They really did it right with REBA MCENTIRE as host. She made it look effortless. She mentioned following the previous hosts Luke Bryan and DIERKS BENTLEY, and before that Luke and BLAKE SHELTON. It set up the best joke of the night. Quote, “I guess they finally figured out that it only takes one woman to do the job of two men.”
The music kicked off with KENNY CHESNEY doing “Get Along”. He wore a sleeveless T-shirt in case anyone forgot about his sculpted guns. But FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE and BEBE REXHA kind of walked-thru their hit, “Meant to Be”.
There were plenty of highlights: DIERKS BENTLEY performed “Woman, Amen”, and then walked into the crowd to hug and kiss his wife Cassidy. Maybe there are successful showbiz marriages.
The younger crowd was represented with KANE BROWN and LAUREN ALAINA doing their hit “What Ifs” . . . and KELSEA BALLERINI singing “I Hate Long Songs”.
LITTLE BIG TOWN’s version of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” was terrific. They even wore costumes inspired by Elton. Nice visual.
All of the ACM Flashbacks songs from 1993 were great, but the Toby Keith and Blake Shelton pairing of “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” was just plain fun.
CARRIE UNDERWOOD made a big return to the stage since last fall’s injury to perform her new song “Cry Pretty”. She absolutely killed it and got one of the longest standing ovations I’ve ever seen. You could tell it meant a lot to her.
There’s usually one unexpected winner and this year it was OLD DOMINION. They took home Vocal Group of the Year and you could see the absolute joy on their faces.
The big finish was CHRIS JANSON, who burned about a million calories closing the show with “Redneck Life”.
(CMT.com has a list of their Best-Dressed Women. And the Boot did a 10 Worst-Dressed list for the red carpet.)
Entertainer of the Year: Jason Aldean
Top Male Vocalist: Chris Stapleton
Top Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert
Top Vocal Group: Old Dominion
Top Vocal Duo: Brothers Osborne
Album of the Year: “From A Room: Volume 1”, Chris Stapleton
Song of the Year: “Tin Man”, Miranda Lambert
Single Record of the Year: “Body Like A Back Road”, Sam Hunt
Video of the Year: Brothers Osborne, “It Ain’t My Fault”
Vocal Event of the Year: “The Fighter”, Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood
Best New Artist was divided into three categories, and they were announced last month. Midland won New Duo/Group, Brett Young won New Male Vocalist, and Lauren Alaina was named New Female Vocalist.