The 50th Anniversary of the Academy of Country Music Awards from Dallas were a huge hit last night. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan hosted the show for the third year in a row. The night of epic performances was kicked off with a special tribute to Merle Haggard. Eric Church and Keith Urban joined forces to sing “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag” and “Raise Em Up.”
To celebrate 50 years of ACM, the academy honored some of the biggest winners from over the years with the Milestone Award. Recipients included Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, and Brooks & Dunn. The first was given to Strait for being the only man to win Entertainer of the Year four decades apart.
Below are the highlights from the big show:
•The first actual award of the night went to Miranda Lambert for song of the year for her hit “Automatic.” She went on to win three other trophies including the Milestone Award for being the most awarded female artist in the show’s history.
•Reba was given her Milestone Award by Kelly Clarkson for winning the Female Vocalist category a record seven times and hosting the show a record 14 times.
•Taylor earned her Milestone Award for being the youngest artist ever to win the Entertainer of the Year award at the age of 21.
•Garth’s Milestone Award was for holding the record for winning six Entertainer of the Year trophies.
•Brooks & Dunn reunited to accept their Milestone Award for the 27 ACM wins they’ve had over the years — the most in the show’s history.
•The evening’s biggest award, Entertainer of the Year, went to Luke Bryan.
•Entertainer of the Year – Luke Bryan
•Male Vocalist of the Year – Jason Aldean
•Female Vocalist of the Year – Miranda Lambert
•Vocal Duo of the Year – Florida Georgia Line
•New Artist of the Year – Cole Swindell
•Vocal Group of the Year – Little Big Town
•Album of the Year – Miranda Lambert, Platinum
•Single Record of the Year – Lee Brice, “I Don’t Dance”
•Song of the Year – Miranda Lambert, “Automatic”
•Video of the Year – Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
•Vocal Event of the Year – Florida Georgia Line & Luke Bryan, “This is How We Roll”
•Eric Church and Keith Urban performed a tribute to Merle Haggard by performing Eric’s song “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag” and Keith’s “Raise Em Up.”
•George Strait celebrated his Milestone award by singing “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” and his new song “Let It Go.”
•Florida Georgia Line took the stage to perform “Sippin’ on Fire.”
•Sam Hunt sang a “Take Your Time.”
•Dierks Bentley was introduced by Tony Romo to perform the title track from his album Riser.
•Miss America Kira Kazantsev welcomed Martina McBride to the stage to sing “Independence Day.”
•Luke Bryan took a few minutes away from cracking jokes with Blake to sing his song “I See You.”
•Miranda Lambert sang “Mama’s Broken Heart” and “Little Red Wagon.”
•Jason Aldean took the stage to serenade the audience with “Tonight Looks Good On You,” “My Kinda Party,” “Hicktown,” and “She’s Country.”
•After an intro from daughter-in-law Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire sang a medley of her hits which included “Is There Life Out There,” “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” “Fancy,” and “Going Out Like That.”
•Little Big Town sang their controversial song “Girl Crush.”
•Cole Swindell sang “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey.”
•Thomas Rhett performed “Make Me Wanna.”
•Blake Shelton slowed things down a bit with his song “Sangria.”
•Rascal Flatts joined up with Christina Aguilera to sing her Nashville song “Shotgun” and “Riot.”
•Prior to accepting his Milestone Award, Garth Brooks sang “All American Kid.”
•Kenny Chesney’s Milestone Award performance were his hits “Young” “Wild Child.”
•Lady Antebellum got the crowd on their feet for “Long Stretch of Love.”
•Dan + Shay hit the stage with Nick Jonas to perform a mashup of “Nothin’ Like You” with “Jealous” and “Chains.”