For the third year in a row, Jason Aldean nabbed the coveted Entertainer of the Year award at the 53rd annual ACM Awards on Sunday night.
It was also a huge night for birthday boy Chris Stapleton, who managed to snag three of the eight awards he was nominated for – Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year, which earned him two awards as both an artist and producer. The most exciting moment of his Sunday, however, was the birth of his twin boys, which host Reba McEntireannounced after he won his first award of the night.
Miranda Lambert held onto her Female Vocalist of the Year title for the ninth year in a row, continuing to hold the record for most wins in this category. She also scored the Song of the Year Award for “Tin Man,” which brought her two awards as both the artist and the songwriter. Her wins made her the most-awarded artist in ACM Awards history, with 32 wins under her belt. Before Sunday, she was tied with Brooks and Dunn at 29 wins.
Prior to the show, Brothers Osborne were presented with both the Vocal Duo of the Year Award, for the second year in a row, and the Video of the Year Award for “It Ain’t My Fault.”
After several months of recovering from her fall, Carrie Underwood made a triumphant return to the spotlight, performing her new single, “Cry Pretty,” which ended with a long standing ovation and a tearful Carrie. She returned to the stage shortly after to accept the award for Vocal Performance of the Year with Keith Urban, and it was clear she had been crying backstage.
For the first time ever, the show featured a series of ACM Flashback performances, which paid tribute to country hits from 25 years ago. The collaborations included Jon Pardi and Alan Jackson singing Jackson’s hit, “Chattahoochee,” Blake Shelton and Toby Keithperforming “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” as well as Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarksonsinging Reba’s hit duet, “Does He Love You,” originally performed with Linda Davis.
Other winners included Old Dominion, Sam Hunt, Lauren Alaina, Midland and Brett Young.
Reba hosted the show for a record 17th time.
Entertainer Of The Year Jason Aldean
Male Vocalist Of The Year Chris Stapleton
Female Vocalist Of The Year Miranda Lambert
Vocal Duo Of The Year Brothers Osborne
Vocal Group Of The Year Old Dominion
New Female Vocalist Of The Year Lauren Alaina
New Male Vocalist of the Year Brett Young
New Duo/Group of the Year Midland
Album of the Year From A Room: Volume 1 - Chris Stapleton
Single Record Of The Year “Body Like a Back Road” - Sam Hunt
Song Of The Year “Tin Man” - Miranda Lambert (won awards as artist and songwriter)
Video Of The Year “It Ain’t My Fault” - Brothers Osborne
Vocal Event Of The Year “The Fighter” - Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood
Songwriter of the Year Rhett Akins
MOST TALKED ABOUT MOMENTS:
- The show began with a somber monologue by Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett, which honored those affected by the Route 91mass shooting.
- Reba joked that the first time she hosted the show in 1986 was before Kelsea Ballerini’s parents even started dating. She also mentioned former ACM Awards hosts Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Dierks Bentley, saying, “They finally figured out it only takes one woman to do the job of two men.”
- Dierks Bentley walked into the audience to kiss his wife after performing “Woman, Amen,” and he was hilariously joined by former ACM co-host, Luke Bryan, during their hug.
- Bebe Rexha made her country awards debut with Florida Georgia Line, singing their current Hot AC number-one single, "Meant to Be."
- Little Big Town wowed the crowd with an incredible rendition of Elton John's "Rocket Man."
- During Reba’s ACM Flashback performance with Kelly Clarkson, the hostess donned the red dress that she wore when she performed the same tune at the CMA Awards 25 years prior. She later shouted out the designer of the dress, Sandy Spika.
- Jason Aldean got choked up during his acceptance speech for Entertainer of the Year, mentioning that the past 12 months had been tough and sending a shout out to those affected by the Route 91 shootings in October.