If you didn’t see last night’s ACM Awards, no big . . . because after a year of socially-distanced shows, this was yet another one. Awards shows need the energy of an audience and things won’t be the same until we’re back at full strength.
The good news is LUKE BRYAN has recovered from COVID-19. He won Entertainer of the Year and accepted the award from the “American Idol” set in L.A.
Other big winners were MAREN MORRIS, who won Top Female Vocalist, plus Song of the Year for “The Bones”. THOMAS RHETT was named Top Male Vocalist. And CARLY PEARCE and LEE BRICE took home Single of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for “I Hope You’re Happy Now”.
KEITH URBAN and MICKEY GUYTON co-hosted, but with COVID-19 restrictions and performers in so many different venues it was impossible to get any rhythm going. Bring ’em back next year and see what they can do.
MIRANDA LAMBERT and ELLE KING opened the show with “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”. I expected that pairing to explode, but it didn’t.
Miranda came back later to help CHRIS STAPLETON perform “Maggie’s Song”, because his wife Morgane couldn’t be there. She’s a Doula, which means somebody’s baby was on the way and she had to be there.
There was a nice moment when DIERKS BENTLEY and THE WAR AND TREATY did a bluegrass cover of U2’s “Pride (In The Name of Love)” at Nashville’s Station Inn. They dedicated it to the club’s owner, J.T. Gray, who passed away last month.
The spirit was in the house when CARRIE UNDERWOOD did a medley from her Gospel album “My Savior” . . . and got some brilliant help from CECE WINANS. ERIC CHURCH had to follow that, and because he’s so damn cool, he pulled it off.
Hey, there was controversy. Some people think DAN + SHAY were lip-syncing during their performance of “Glad You Exist”. They say it was a technical glitch.
MICKEY GUYTON took center stage to sing “Hold On” . . . her song from the 2019 faith-based movie “Breakthrough”. She really poured her heart into it.
The ACMs like to close it out with energy, and BROTHERS OSBORNE were up to the challenge with “Dead Man’s Curve”.
(People.com has a slide show of Best Moments. The ACM Twitter account has clips of performances. The “Tennessean” has a ton of photos from the night. And Fox.com has a collection of Red Carpet pics.)
This Year’s ACM Award Winners:
Entertainer of the Year: Luke Bryan
Top Male Vocalist: Thomas Rhett
Top Female Vocalist: Maren Morris
Top Vocal Group: Old Dominion
Top Vocal Duo: Dan + Shay
Album of the Year: “Starting Over”, Chris Stapleton
Song of the Year: “The Bones”, Maren Morris
Single Record of the Year: “I Hope You’re Happy Now”, Carly Pearce & Lee Brice
New Male Vocalist of the Year: Jimmie Allen
New Female Vocalist of the Year: Gabby Barrett
Video of the Year: Kane Brown, “Worldwide Beautiful””
Music Event of the Year: “I Hope You’re Happy Now”, Carly Pearce and Lee Brice
(The Music Event of the Year, Video of the Year, and Best New Artist winners were announced before the show.)