In the most coveted award of the evening, Keith Urban won Entertainer of the Year at the 54th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas last night (Sunday, April 7th). Kacey Musgraves was a big winner, picking up Female Vocalist and Album of the Year, while Thomas Rhett took home the trophy for Male Vocalist. Dan + Shay won the most awards, including Single, Song, and Duo of the Year.
It was a big night for musical collaborations. The show started with a performance of “Can’t Hide Red” by Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line. Another to note, included George Strait and Miranda Lambert with a duet of his 2001 hit, “Run.”
The event was held Sunday April 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The show marked Reba McEntire's 16th time as host, an all-time record for any host.
Entertainer of the Year: Keith Urban Female vocalist of the Year: Kacey Musgraves Male vocalist of the Year: Thomas Rhett Single of the Year: “Tequila” Dan + Shay Vocal group of the Year: Old Dominion Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves Golden Hour Song of the Year: “Tequila” performed by Dan + Shay. Songwriters Dan Smyers, Jordan Reynolds and Nicolle Galyon New female vocalist of the Year: Ashley McBride New male vocalist of the Year: Luke Combs New Duo or group of the year: LANCO Duo or group of the Year: Dan + Shay Video of the Year: Chris Janson “Drunk Girl” Music Event of the Year: “Burning Man” Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne
PERFORMANCES AND PRESENTATIONS
Jason Aldean kicked off the ACM Awards and was joined by Florida Georgia Line with a performance of “Can’t Hide Red.” Thomas Rhett came out of his audience seat when introduced to sing “Look What God Gave Her.” Lady Antebellum announced the winners of Song of the Year – Dan + Shay’s “Tequila.” The songwriters accepted. Reba introduced Miranda Lambert to sing a medley of her hits including “Love’s Giving Up On Me,” “White Lier,” and “Mama’s Broken Heart.” Luke Bryan performed “Knockin’ Boots.” Chris Stapleton, with only a 4-piece band that included his wife, performed “Slow Simple Song.” Clint Black and Jessie James Decker presented Single of the Year to Dan + Shay for “Tequila.” With a single guitar and a spotlight, Ashley McBryde performed on a small round stage in the middle of the audience. During Thomas Rhett's acceptance speech for Male Vocalist, he pointed to his wife and said, “You are smokin’ hot tonight.” Brothers Osborne joined Maren Morris, to do a version of “All My Favorite People,” a song from her new album. George Strait, wearing a dark jacket, and black hat sang “God And Country Music.” Cole Swindell introduced Luke Combs who sang “Beautiful Crazy” to an audience lit with cell phones. Dan + Shay and Kelly Clarkson performed their duet “Keeping Score.” Carly Pearce and Michael Ray announced Duo of the Year…Dan + Shay. With ballet dancers behind them, Little Big Town performed “For The Daughters.” Kimberly Schlapman’s daughter, Daisy (11) and Phillip Sweet’s daughter Penelopi (11) danced as part of the performance. Blake Shelton, with video screens behind him showing fire, smoke, and country side, performed “God’s Country.” Old Dominion performed “Make It Sweet.” Luke Combs, with a red solo cup in hand, sang lead with Ronnie Dunn and joined Brooks & Dunn for “Brand New Man.” The new version is on the new Brooks & Dunn album. Little Big Town introduced Keith Urban and his performance of “Burden.” He stood and sang the song without his guitar. Ashley McBryde and Eric Church teamed up to sing “The Snake.” Images of large snakes appeared on screen. With a performance that started with Carrie Underwood singing pool side at the MGM Grand, she walked into the building through the audience, kissed her husband and onto the stage, all while singing “Southbound.” Kane Brown sang “I Just Want To Be Good As You.” And then introduced multi-platinum artist, Khalid and performed their remix of “Saturday Nights.” Reba performed her new song, “Freedom,” it’s on her new album, Stronger Than The Truth. George Strait announced Jason Aldean as the ACM Artist of the Decade. Jason followed with a performance of 3 songs including “Dirt Road Anthem.” He also sang “A Little While” with Kelly Clarkson. Chrissy Metz, star of the NBC series, This Is Us, and the upcoming movie Breakthrough, sang and was joined on stage by Lauren Alaina, Mickey Guyton, Maddie & Tae and Carrie Underwood. All are featured on the film's soundtrack. Miranda Lambert and George Strait sang together on his 2001 hit,”Run.” Dierks Bentley and Brandi Carlile, sang his song “Travelin’ Light.” Keith Urban hugged presenters Reba, and even congratulated Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks on their new album before making his acceptance speech that was notably rushed for time.