Jason Aldean Wins Entertainer at ACM Awards

Published On April 16, 2018 | By Cheryl Johnstone | Country Music News

The 53rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards were held Sunday, April 15th in Las Vegas, marking a huge night for country music fans.

Held inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and broadcast live on CBS, Reba McEntire served as the evening’s host (her 15th time). She kept viewers on their toes all night, delivering a fun-filled show with plenty of laughter and light to counterbalance some of the more serious moments.

The evening kicked off with a somber moment when Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett opened the show by talking about the healing power of music in regards to the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival six months ago.

Jason Aldean was named Entertainer of the Year, while Lambert snagged awards for Song of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.

Chris Stapleton stole the show without even being there, by winning the ACM Album of the Year for “From a Room: Volume 1,” and welcoming twins at the same time. McEntire accepted the award on his behalf and delivered the good news from the stork to a shocked and delighted audience.

WINNERS

Entertainer of the year: Jason Aldean
Male vocalist of the year: Chris Stapleton
Single record of the year: “Body Like a Back Road” by Sam Hunt
Female vocalist of the year: Miranda Lambert
Vocal event of the year: “The Fighter” by Keith Urban
Vocal group of the year: Old Dominion
Album of the year: “From a Room: Vol. 1” by Chris Stapleton
Song of the year: “Tin Man” by Miranda Lambert
New female vocalist of the year: Lauren Alaina
New male vocalist of the year: Brett Young
New vocal duo or group of the year: Midland
Songwriter of the year: Rhett Akins

PERFORMANCES

Kenny Chesney kicked off the fun with the television debut of the song “Get Along.”
Maren Morris gave a spirited performance of “Rich” wearing, aptly, a golden gown. (In front of a larger-than-life lit-up neon sign that also read “Rich.”)
With 10 no, 1 singles under his belt, a confident Chris Young brought a soulful, stripped-down version of “Losing Sleep” to the stage, his vocals accompanied only by two guitars.
Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha performed a dazzling “Meant To Be,” against a starry backdrop and swaying backup singers.
Brett Young, who won for the Award for New Male Vocalist, performed “In Case You Didn’t Know.”
Alan Jackson and Jon Pardi had everyone singing with an infectious toe-tapping rendition of “Chattahoochee.”
Lady Antebellum delivered a heartfelt “Heart Break.”
Dierks Bentley, in all black delivered a rock n’ roll rendition of “Woman, Amen,” against a backdrop of black and white photos of real, strong women (think police officers, doctors, mothers). Then he clinched it by descending from the stage to embrace his wife Cassidy Black. (Bryan attempted to cut in, but Bentley playfully rebuffed him).
Blake Shelton performed a thoughtful, nostalgic rendition of “I Lived It.”
Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina sang “What Ifs” against a blue sky, thrashing ocean, amid swirling mist. Afterwards, they introduced a segment about ACM Lifting Lives, a philanthropic arm of the ACM that has been instrumental in the recovery following the Las Vegas shooting.
Keith Urban sang and swayed his way through a theatrical “Coming Home,” with the lyrics written over filmed scenes of life on the road, urban landscapes, a hand strumming a guitar, ocean vistas and embracing friends and family. Julia Michaels joined him onstage.
Kelsea Ballerini was lowered down to the stage from the ceiling in a neon heart to perform “I Hate Love Songs,” and stripping off her sparkling pink ball-gown mid-song in favor of a bedazzled jeans, a white tank and white hi-tops as rose petals descended.
Jason Aldean sang “You Make It Easy.”
Miranda Lambert performs a fiery (in every sense) “Keeper of the Flame” as multiple forms of explosive spark shot forth from the stage.
Little Big Town played their eerie, exquisite countrified take on the Elton John classic “Rocket Man,” all while wearing equally compelling and otherworldly sequined suits and furs in front of extraterrestrial scenes.
Blake Shelton and Toby Keith kicked it old school with “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” The audience was definitely there for it, singing along, dancing and guzzling brews.
After winning New Vocal Group, Midland got up to sing “Drinkin’ Problem.”
Carrie Underwood looked more stunning—and confident—than ever performing “Cry Pretty.” She got a standing ovation.
Dan + Shay perform an acoustic “Tequila” with a lot of help from backup singers and the audience.
Darius Rucker sang “For the First Time.”
Thomas Rhett delivered a heartfelt “Marry Me.”
Luke Bryan brought an uplifting “Most People Are Good.”
New female vocalist of the year Lauren Alaina performs an enthusiastic “Doin’ Fine.”
Kelly Clarkson steps up to introduce mother-in-law Reba McEntire for a mesmerizing rendition of “Does He Love You.” Clarkson then joins her onstage and the pair sing the sultry number, pulling off what could be a weirdly tense duet considering their IRL relationship, with their trademark grace. (And for fans doing a double take … yep, that is the same scandalous red dress McEntire wore in 1993 at the CMA Awards, and yep, it’s still smoking hot).
Chris Janson closes out the broadcast with a rocking rendition of “Redneck Life.”

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