The 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards is country music’s biggest party of the year and the ACM Awards didn’t disappoint! Two country legends performed together, new music was flowing from some of country’s biggest stars and one artist picked up his first-ever Entertainer of the Year trophy! In no particular order, here are our Top 10 Moments from this year’s ACM Awards:
Luke Bryan – Luke Bryan had a busy night, co-hosting the ACM Awards and debuting his brand new single, “Crash My Party.” The biggest moment of the night went to him as well when he was crowned ACM Entertainer of the Year by none other than Shania Twain. It took a visibly shocked Luke several moments to pull himself together to accept his trophy.
“Thank you guys so much,” Luke said, wiping at his tears. “Fans, for doing this to me, thank you so much for making my life what it is. What I always wanted to be was just a country singer that got to ride on a tour bus and show up on a new stage and play new music every night. This is the defining moment of my life.”
Miranda Lambert – It was a good night for Miranda Lambert. She picked up three ACM Awards, including Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Over You,” a track she co-wrote with her husband, Blake Shelton, and Female Vocalist of the Year for the fourth year running.
“Last night, a huge dream of mine came true because I went from being a little girl singing in a hair brush to watching Shania Twain with Faith Hill, Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson,” an emotional Miranda said as she accepted her Female Vocalist trophy. “I cried all night because I’ll never not be a fan of those beautiful women.”
ACM Fan Jam – The ACM Fan Jam was the place to be, giving fans a chance to be a part of the ACM Awards and get up close and personal with some of their favorite country stars. Brad Paisley, host of the ACM Fan Jam, kicked off the night with a performance of “Outstanding In Our Field” featuring Dierks Bentley and Hunter Hayes. Florida Georgia Line, Brantley Gilbert and Jana Kramer also performed before Florida Georgia Line was crowned New Artist of the Year on the ACM Fan Jam Stage.
Blake Shelton & Luke Bryan – Luke Bryan had big shoes to fill as he took over the co-hosting reins from Reba and he stepped up in a big way! Blake and Luke’s friendship was front and center as they bantered with one another about their jeans before turning their attention to some good natured ribbing of some of their fellow stars including Kelly Clarkson, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott and ABC’s Nashville.
Little Big Town – Little Big Town picked up two ACM Awards, including the trophies for Video of the Year for “Tornado” and Vocal Group of the Year. They also delivered one of the night’s most memorable performances, singing “Your Side of The Bed” while an aerialist couple performed an intimate dance against the backdrop of a bed behind them. “Thank you for giving us this moment,” they said as they accepted their Vocal Group award. “Thank you so much.”
Dick Clark Tribute – An emotional Reba took the stage to introduce a tribute to the late Dick Clark, saying he’d kick her butt for crying onstage. After announcing the ACM would be renaming their Artist of the Decade award in honor of Dick Clark, she introduced Garth Brooks who performed “The Dance.” Garth then introduced George Strait who took the stage to perform “The Cowboy Rides Away” to round out the fitting tribute.
Stevie Wonder – It may have been a country music awards show, but Stevie Wonder was the man of the show’s last hour. He not only performed with Hunter Hayes, he also brought the house down, closing the show with a rendition of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan joined him halfway into the song, sending the ACM Awards out with a bang.
ACM Lifting Lives Moment – Jewel knows first hand what it’s like to be hungry, having faced hunger as a child. During a special ACM Lifting Lives moment in support of the Outnumber Hunger movement to end child hunger, she performed a mashup of her hit song “Hands” and “Fill My Heart,” inviting the crowd to sing along. Facts about hunger across America as well as ways to help the cause were displayed on the screen behind her.
Jason Aldean – Jason Aldean had the crowd on their feet with his performance of “1994” and he also took home two ACM Awards. He was surprised with the trophy for Vocal Event of the Year on the ACM Red Carpet for “The Only Way I Know” with Luke Bryan and Eric Church before later being named Male Vocalist of the Year. “This is a little surprising,” he said as he accepted the Male Vocalist trophy. “I’m a big fan and friends with everyone else in this category. I’m glad I get to sing for a living. I’m glad you guys dig it.”
Collaborations – The night was full of memorable collaborations. Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Pistol Annies and Brad Paisley opened the show with their take on Blake’s current single, “Boys ‘Round Here.” Later in the show, Brad Paisley was joined by John Mayer for his new single, “Beat This Summer.” Hunter Hayes was joined onstage by Stevie Wonder and Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban took the stage together for their single, “Highway Don’t Care.”
What was YOUR favorite ACM Awards moment? Leave us a comment below!