Country’s brightest stars were out in full force in Vegas this weekend to celebrate the Academy of Country Music Awards. The ACM’s have always been one of my favourite award shows - it’s really country’s night to rock. The televised portion of the show is filled less with the award for best interpretative banjo performance and more with performances, which, in my opinion, are what the audience really wants to see. That, and the fashion of course – which didn’t disappoint.
Hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, this year marked Luke’s third year hosting the show, and previous co-host Blake Shelton was on hand to make a surprise or two and pass the torch to first timer Bentley. Their opening monologue had me laughing (and they gave us "Lurks"!), and I love how the country world is so friendly. Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood all joined in on the fun (and for those of you who are as obsessed with Carrie’s custom bedazzled Chris Stapleton shirt as I am, check out Star Struck Vintage). Honestly, you all know what a fan I am of Luke, but he seemed nervous tonight. Flubbed a couple lines, but, bless his heart he’s just adorable.
As I sit here writing this, I’m trying to pick out some of my fave performances from the night, and I’m really having a hard time! I was entertained the whole night through! I didn’t fast forward the PVR for any performance... and that’s rare for me. There were so many great artists, and many did new songs, which was great! I decided to just post some of my fave highlights. Sidenote: stay tuned for a follow up post that includes all of the night’s big winners!
- Luke Bryan kicked off the night with a performance of his new single, Huntin’ Fishin’ and Lovin’ Everyday (the video for this song was just released – stay tuned for it!), and was interrupted/surprised #crashed by last year’s co-host, Blake Shelton who joined in on the song! I loved this surprise, what a great way to kick off the show.
- Directly following Luke’s performance, Blake Shelton took the stage with his new song Came Here to Forget. This song is #1 on my playlist currently, and everyone I know, knows it. I love it – check it out!
- Dierks Bentley's mellowed out performance of Somewhere On A Beach
- Keith Urban with new music, Wasted Time
- Chris Young and Cassadee Pope brought their duet, Think of You to the stage and if you were following either one of them on Snapchat this weekend, you saw just how excited they were to perform, with Cassadee evening remarking "they all stood for us!"
- Martina McBride and Darius Rucker’s lovely tribute to Joey Feek.
- Eric Church’s tribute to David Bowie, Lemmy, Glenn Frey and Scott Weiland with his song Record Year.
- Little Big Town rocked it with a performance of their jazz infused song, Stay All Night.
- Carrie Underwood performed and looked SMOKIN as usual. Seriously, made me immediately put down the chips I was enjoying and want to shut off the ACM’s to put on my 21 Day Fix workout DVD…. Oh, did I mention her vocals were on point too? Right, I meant to say that as well. She rocked her new song Church Bells, which I’m sure will be a #1 hit in no time. Love Carrie!!! #CRUSHEDIT
- Sam Hunt all in white, white piano, ballad. Enough said.
- Tim McGraw stunned with a moving performance of Humble and Kind. He involved the audience and gave everyone a glow wristband that lit up and just the right moments. It was truly a moving moment, made even more powerful and emotional as he was joined by a sea of fans at the end of the song. #Tears
- Thomas Rhett performed Die A Happy Man, a sweet tribute to his wife Lauren who was beaming from ear to ear with pride. Ugh, my heart. #Toocute
- Miranda Lambert, who made her red carpet debut with new boyfriend Anderson East earlier in the night, was joined by Billy Gibbons and Keith Urban to perform the ZZ Top classic, “Tush”, in a black bell bottomed one piece with diamond studded belt and tie, she rocked it, of course.
- Charles Kelley of Lady A was there to debut his solo stuff – which I’m loving! As mentioned earlier in the show, his song Lonely Girl was written by Chris Stapleton – so its easy to know just why I love it!
- Kelsea Ballerini looked incredible (who knew she had legs like that!) and fulfilled a teenage dream performing her song Peter Pan with Nick Jonas, who she said she “thought she was going to marry at 13”. It was the first time I’d heard that song, and I thought it was sweet and relatable. Not your typical scandalous, dramatic breakup song, but rather touched on a an issue all too common these days, of one partner being emotionally unavailable.
- Florida Georgia Line still going strong – a captivating performance of Confession.
- Kacey Musgraves introduced Katy Perry who had a great speech honoring Queen Dolly for the Coat of Many Colours TV movie. Dolly and Katy then teamed up for a “once in a lifetime” performance of Coat of Many Colours, Jolene and 9 to 5 and it was just as wonderful as you imagine it would be! #Ahh!!!!
- Chris Stapleton, who we saw many times throughout the night, performed Fire Away, and blew us away, but no surprise there.
- Entertainer of the Year, Jason Aldean with some new music, Lights Come On
- Nobody to Blame won Song of the Year, and it wasn't Chris Stapelton who stole our hearts, it was co-writer, Ronnie Bowman's sweet shout-out to his mom, Hazel Bowman, that had us in a collective "Awwww" and maybe some tears.