The ceremony, which was co-hosted by country superstars Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, featured country’s biggest names, including star-studded performances from over 25 of country’s hottest acts like Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Maren Morris and Keith Urban.
Co-hosts Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley have a hokey chemistry that makes many of their bro-country dad joke stylings yield more LOLs than they honestly deserve. That said, the ACMs opening monologue – a guided slide show of the pair’s wild and crazy night out in Sin City the night before – was a reminder of why what happens in Vegas should indeed stay there.
Jason Aldean was named Entertainer of the Year, while Miranda Lambert took home two of the other biggest awards of the night, Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year. Thomas Rhett was also a massive winner, nabbing Song of the Year (“Die A Happy Man”) and Male Vocalist of the Year.
Little Big Town was the big-winning group of the night, reigning victorious in the Vocal Group of the Year category, while Brothers Osborne won the New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year and Florida Georgia Line taking home two trophies for Singer Record of the Year (“H.O.L.Y.”) and Vocal Event of the Year (“May We All” feat. Tim McGraw).
Maren Morris and Jon Pardi were the favorite newcomers, nabbing New Female and Male Vocalist of the Year, respectively.
Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw arguably stole the show from the audience, sitting front and center and enjoying themselves during all of the night’s performances.
It was tough to catch, but this year’s ACM ceremony actually included a WTF identity crisis moment – the Academy of Country Music giving an award to its rival, the Country Music Association. The award for Video of the Year went to “Forever Country,” a mashup of three classic songs and 30 artists produced by the CMA to celebrate their 50th-anniversary awards show last November. Question where was Loretta Lynn in the mash-up? All of the artists who were in attendance went up to accept the trophy – Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, among them – but when Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild stepped to the mic she was speaking as a member of the CMA board of directors, not an artist. Strictly speaking, the ACM and the CMA aren’t really competitors (they’re not-for-profit advocacy organizations), but they do vie for prestige, so count it as a grudging tip of the hat for a project that helped connect country’s growing number of young fans with the legendary music of the past.
Check out the complete list of the night’s winners from the 2017 Academy of Country Music Awards:
Song of the Year: “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett
New Female Vocalist of the Year: Maren Morris
New Male Vocalist of the Year: Jon Pardi
New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year: Brothers Osborne
Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
Songwriter of the year: Lori McKenna
Single Record of the Year: “H.O.L.Y.” by Florida Georgia Line
Album of the Year: The Weight of These Wings by Miranda Lambert
Video of the Year: “Forever Country” by Artists of Then, Now & Forever
Vocal Event of the Year: “May We All” by Florida Georgia Line feat. Tim McGraw
Male Vocalist of the Year: Thomas Rhett
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Entertainer of the Year: Jason Aldean