Highlights form the ACM Awards
…”Our Hero Won Tonight.”
The 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards were held Sunday night in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand and also at Mandalay Bay.
The Band Perry opened the show with their new single, “Chainsaw,” and through the course of the performance, confetti was sprayed through the air and onto the audience. Though a joking Luke Bryan stated, “…there’s $20 million dollars worth of hair-dos down here (pointing to the audience), and now it’s all filled with confetti!” Twitter accounts from the audience noted that while some thought it funny, some were less than amused!
But from there, the mood lightened as Blake Shelton and co-host Luke Bryan continued picking on each other…and just about every topic!.
Brad Paisley performed by the Mandalay Bay poolside, and even “walked on water” a little as he played…due to the glass or glass-like runway they’d placed out over the water.
Then the phenomenal George Strait performed “I Got A Car,” and brought the house down.
More fun ensued for Shelton and Bryan when they decided they wanted to take a “selfie” that would show them hanging out with some of country music’s biggest stars, (inspired by what Ellen had done at the OSCARS). They started down the front row with comments reflecting that they revered George Strait too much to ask him, that Jason Aldean wasn’t “big enough,” that Tim McGraw was “boooring” and then finally turned away from the audience to take one of themselves because they saw that Sheryl Crow would be in their pic.
That “selfie” later showed up on Twitter – and they were trying to see how many RTs it would get. I admit it – I RT’d it.
There were incredible performances all throughout the evening. Blake Shelton performed with Shakira – and it was magnificent – singing “Medicine.” But another audience favorite was when he sang with Gwen Sebastian, a former teammate from“The Voice.” Sebastian’s voice truly complimented Shelton’s – and it was so sweet to see Miranda singing along in the audience.
Keith Urban and band rocked the house with THREE Drummers (if we counted correctly), singing “Even The Stars Fall For You.”
Rascal Flatts performed an amazingly phenomenal version of their hit “Rewind,” only to be sought out – and found out – that they were lip-syncing. Who really cares though, right? We all know they can sing.
Dierks Bentley and Sheryl Crow were over-the-top, and what can you say? It’s Sheryl Crow! Enough said. And Bentley’s vocal was seamless!
Tim and Faith performed “Meanwhile, Back at Mama’s,” and though rumors continue to persist of marital trouble between the two, they sure appeared to be in love!
Luke Bryan performed his single “Play It Again” – but also performed “That’s How We Roll” with Florida Georgia Line.
Miranda Lambert, just post-trophy (having won “Single of the Year) performed her new song “Automatic,” a song about simpler times when things weren’t just handed to us.
Another great gift for the evening? Stevie Nicks performed with Lady Antebellum…Wow!
The awards were anybody’s guess, but as the awards are fan-voted, it was a bit shocking that neither Taylor Swift nor Carrie Underwood walked away with anything. Neither did Luke Bryan…but he was having so much fun, he may not have noticed.
The two big events of the night were Garth Brooks presenting Merle Haggard with the Crystal Milestone Award – which honors one for outstanding achievements in the music industry – and the announcing of the Entertainer of the year.
When it was announced that Garth would be at the ACMs this year, many had hoped he’d perform and were disappointed that Garth didn’t perform during the awards. But George Strait and Miranda Lambert did a beautiful job paying tribute to Haggard’s songs, before Garth finally bestowed the award on Haggard. Haggard received an extra surprise when Garth insisted everyone in the audience sing “happy birthday” to Haggard as he made his way to the stage. This seemingly impromptu and touching gesture reminded audiences of country music’s genuine, “take care of our own” sentiments.
Merle Haggard had won the ACM Male Vocalist of the Year SIX times – more than anyone else in ACM history, and he was the very first ACM Entertainer of the year back in 1971. Look out, though, Mr. Haggard! It appears that Miranda Lambert just might catch you one of these days! She has won Female Vocalist of the Year three years running.
George Strait won Entertainer of the Year and Blake Shelton, though up for the award himself, seemed just as excited as if he’d won it himself, saying to Bryan and the world, ”Our hero won tonight! That’s just how it’s supposed to be!”
Other winners of the evening were:
Justin Moore – New Artist of the Year
Kacey Musgraves – Album of the Year for “Same Trailer, Different Park”
Lee Brice – Song of the Year for “I Drive Your Truck” (and gave the writers the spotlight)
Jason Aldean – Male Vocalist of the Year
Miranda Lambert – Single of the Year for “Mama’s Broken Heart” and Female Vocalist of the Year
The Band Perry – Vocal Group of the Year
Florida Georgia Line – Vocal Duo of the Year
“Highway Don’t Care” – Video of the Year (Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw & Keith Urban)
Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert –Vocal Event of the Year with “We Were Us.”
Did we miss anybody? Hope not.