Luke Bryan wins ACM entertainer of year
Everything went to script last night at the Academy of Country Music Awards until the end -- when co-host Luke Bryan pulled off an amazing upset and won entertainer of the year, The Associated Press reports.
Bryan beat out some of country music's top stars, including two-time winner Taylor Swift and overall award leader Miranda Lambert, in an upset that few would have predicted. After an emotional speech in Las Vegas, co-host Blake Shelton held Bryan up and joked that he won in his "first and last year as co-host" of the awards.
Shelton shared the song-of-the-year award with Lambert, his wife, for "Over You," which they co-wrote about Shelton's late brother. With three other wins -- including her fourth straight as female vocalist of the year -- Lambert was the night's most-honored star.
"As a songwriter, having your song and your lyrics recognized by your peers is pretty much as good as it gets . . . Thank you for accepting me as a song writer, not just as a singer, because that means the world to me," Lambert said.
Eric Church won two awards, including album of the year for "Chief," and was tied with Jason Aldean, Little Big Town and Florida Georgia Line. Aldean won male vocalist of the year. Little Big Town had wins for vocal group and video of the year. Florida Georgia Line won for new artist and were previous winners in the new vocal duo/group category.
The night featured colorful performances, including a much anticipated duet by Garth Brooks and George Strait in honor of the late Dick Clark. Swift and Keith Urban joined Tim McGraw onstage for "Highway Don't Care," which Urban finished with a scorching guitar solo.