Country music’s biggest and brightest superstars turned out en masse for the 54th Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM Awards). Reba McEntire returned to host the incredible evening of song and surprises for a record-breaking 16th time. A new batch of ACM Award winners were revealed in the live ceremony which took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and was broadcast to millions of viewers on CBS.
As usual, Reba rolled out her jokes with the perfect blend of sparkle and sass. Plus, Country Music’s Party of the Year was filled with captivating performances from some of the most beloved artists in the genre. The King of Country George Strait performed multiple songs, including an amazing duet with Kelly Clarkson.
All three winners in the ACM New Artist of the Year categories Luke Combs (New Male Artist), Ashley McBryde (New Female Artist) and LANCO (New Group) seized their moment to shine on the ACM Awards stage.
The reigning ACM Awards record holder Miranda Lambert (who has won a staggering career total of 32 ACM trophies) was nominated again for Female Artist of the Year (which she lost to Kacey Musgraves this year). Lambert lit up the stage with an explosive medley of some of her hottest hits.
Overall, a lot of off-the-chain superstar performances filled the three-hour broadcast. Though it was super hard to choose just five standout moments, our picks for the five best moments from the 2019 ACM Awards are listed below.
Anyone who watches Blake Shelton on “The Voice” knows what a dry sense of humor he has. When Reba McEntire singled him out during her opening monologue, the seven-time Grammy-nominated country crooner stood up, pulled out a microphone and offered her his co-hosting, which she politely declined. Shelton pulled out a jumbo Vegas-sized beer and pulled off a comical moment in the show.
2019 should be dubbed the “Year of Dan + Shay” as the charismatic-yet-humble duo took home the first three awards of the evening for Song of the Year and Single of the Year for “Tequila” and for Duo of the Year. Their joy in their acceptance speeches was infectious as Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney thanked God, their wives and their teams. In addition to their wonderful winning streak, the duo performed a show-stopping rendition of “Keeping Score” with Kelly Clarkson. Overall, the night couldn’t have gone better for these guys.
3. Miranda Lambert Crushes a Medley of Smash Hits
Miranda Lambert conquered the ACM Awards stage when she crushed a medley of some of her biggest hits. The nine-time ACM Female Artist of the Year winner brought her new hubby with her to the show. A pan of the audience revealed her gal pal Carrie Underwood singing along as Lambert ripped through high-energy hits like “Kerosene,” “White Liar,” and “Little Red Wagon,” during which she swapped out lyrics to declare she was getting “the hell outta Oklahoma.” Later in the show, she teamed up with George Strait for an ACM Flashback performance of “Run” from his 2001 album The Road Less Traveled.
2. Chrissy Metz Makes a Stunning TV Debut Performance “I’m Standing with You”
Guess what, Chrissy Metz? We’re standing with you! The bubbly “This Is Us” actress crushed her television debut performance of her song “I’m Standing with You” from her upcoming feature film “Breakthrough.” Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina, Maddie & Tae, and Mickey Guyton joined Metz on stage after she sang solo. The collective vocal power of these female vocalists was truly astounding, especially Underwood, whose colorful tone and spectacular range seems to defy convention. The performance was easily one of the best, most memorable moments of the night.
Given the scope of his massive career, it seems crazy to think Keith Urban has never won the ACM Entertainer of the Year Award – until now! Yep, this was a long time coming for the nine-time Entertainer of the Year nominee. Urban broke Jason Aldean’s three-time EOTY winning streak and he and his Oscar-winning wife traded super cute “I love yous” during his heartfelt acceptance. We’re sending out a huge congrats to Keith Urban and a bravo to the ACMs, ‘bout time!