Chris Stapleton joined his accolade tonight (April 15) when he took home the album of the year and the male vocalist trophies at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards. It turned out to be an extra special night for the country star, since he and his wife Morgane also became parents of twins.
And it was an unforgettable night for Miranda Lambert, who got hooked with a couple of trophies, including a ninth consecutive victory for the best female vocalist. Jason Aldean was also notable as the biggest winner of the night with his third consecutive win for the artist of the year. Visibly emotional during his comments, he said: "It has been a difficult year, I just want to thank everyone who came to us and showed us their support during the last six months, it meant everything to us. in our hearts, we love them, and we love Las Vegas – Vegas Strong, "in reference to the tragic shootings during the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
That tragedy and unity was at the heart of the early program. Jason Aldean, Maren Morris Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett opened the show with a message about the resilience of artists and fans after last month of October attack on route 91 fest. Host Reba McEntire's monologue consisted of kind strokes in the country's newest baby boom, as well as its own longevity. McEntire admitted that she was co-host of the MCA for the first time in 1987, before her fellow nominees Kelsea Ballerini's parents began dating. Kenny Chesney opened the show musically with the feeling of "Get Along".
The collaborations were also a central part of the broadcast, with Florida Georgia Line teaming with Bebe Rexha for his successful "Meant To Be", and Keith Urban joining forces with Julia Michaels in "Coming Home".
Not all musical pairings were the mix of formats. On three occasions, the ACM recognized songs that became famous 25 years ago. The first performance of this type saw Jon Pardi teaming up with the Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson for an energetic romp through "Chattahoochee". Blake Shelton partnered with his partner Okie Toby Keith for the song that launched the latter's career, "Should've Been A Cowboy." And McEntire became involved in the mix of classics, too, offering "Does He Love You" with Kelly Clarkson.
Other highlights at night included Lady Antebellum & # 39; s sublime through "Heart Break", former schoolmates Lauren Alaina and ] Kane Brown's label shows "What If", as well as a fascinating performance of "Women, Amen" by Dierks Bentley that inspired Bryan to get up from his seat to give him a kiss to Bentley. For the record, Dierks rejected his "advances". Little Big Town dazzled with an impeccable rendition of "Rocker Man," his contribution to the tribute record Elton John / Bernie Taupin ] Restoration.
One of the simplest but most moving performances of the show was Blake Shelton's nostalgic performance of "I Lived It", which earned him a standing ovation. There was also an apparent simplicity when the winners of the new vocal groups Midland were thrown into the Nevada stratosphere with the "Drinkin Problem". Big Machine's counterpart Brett Young (new male vocalist) and Lauren Alaina (main female vocalist) also recorded her first ACM victories. A little more of a dream was Ballerini's troll through his current song "I Hate Love Songs", which caused the audience to stop once more.
However, all eyes were fixed on the stage when Carrie Underwood released her new single, "Cry Pretty". The song, his debut for Capitol Nashville, marked his first performance since he underwent extensive facial surgery after a fall in November at his home. The singer did not disappoint, noting the performance of the night. A few moments later, she was on stage again, accepting the vocal event of the year award for "The Fighter." It was also a great night for the record label, with a win for Sam Hunt & # 39; s . "" Body Like A Back Road "in the field of the year after his record in the Hot Country Songs Chart last year.
"Tin Man" by Lambert (co-written with Jon Randall and Jack Ingram) won by song of the year, somewhat surprising for a single with a relatively low peak in the charts (No. 15 Country Songs, No.22 Country Airplay.) Still, the song, written for Lambert's acclaimed two-disc set The Weight of These Wings resonated with the fans, allowing the singer to say thanks to listeners for "sharing their broken heart" through the song, written after the end of Lambert's marriage with Blake Shelton.
On the other end of that emotional spectrum was the album of the year's prize, which was revealed as that of Stapleton From A Room, Volume 1. McEntire he accepted the award for him, admitting that it was a remarkable weekend in more ways than one for the performer, with his wife Morgane delivering twins in Nashville.
There was a big surprise when Old Dominion took Out vocal group, a category dominated by Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town in recent years.