The ACM Awards’ co-host Luke Bryan has become coveted entertainer of the year honor, topping familiar favorites Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert, along with Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean.
“I don’t know what to say guys,” Bryan said. “Thank you so much fans for doing this to me. Thank you so much for making my life what it is. What I always wanted to be was just a country singer who got to ride on a tour bus and show up on a new stage and play music every night.”
After an emotional speech, Bryan’s co-host Blake Shelton joked that he won in his “first and last year as co-host” of the awards, reports The Huffington Post.
Bryan has become the first male winner of the award since 2007 when Kenny Chesney won the first fan-voted award. Swift and Carrie Underwood have won two apiece since then.
Bryan’s victory is likely to become the most discussed topic of Las Vegas Sunday night but Lambert again walks away as the academy’s trophy magnet.
This is her fourth female vocalist award. She also picked up three awards for her hit song “Over You” – one for single record of the year and two for song of the year. She performed the song she co-wrote with Shelton.
“As a songwriter, having your song and your lyrics recognized by your peers is pretty much as good as it gets,” Lambert said. “And I’m so thankful for being in this genre of country music, every single time someone’s nominated, I just cheer, because I love everybody to death. So thank you for accepting me as a song writer, not just as a singer, because that means the world to me.”
Jason Aldean also got in the list of winners of the evening as he was named Male Vocalist of the Year — his first win in that category — and his collaboration with Bryan and Eric Church, “Only Way I Know How,” was named Vocal Event of the Year.
This is his second win in that category: last year he took home the same award for “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” his duet with Kelly Clarkson.
Eric Church’s “Chief” won Album of the Year, and he was presented with his trophy by rock legend John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Accepting the trophy, Church said, “I can’t believe I just met John Fogerty! We should hang out later.”
Little Big Town was named Vocal Group of the Year and and also won the award for Video of the Year honors for “Tornado,” while Thompson Square took home the Vocal Duo of the Year prize.
As ABC News writes, Florida Georgia Line captured the fan-voted Best New Artist Award. Taylor Swift, who was up for five awards, went home empty-handed.
The evening was full of extraordinary performances, but the anticipation of Garth Brooks and George Strait performing together left behind all the other performances . The two paid tribute to the late Dick Clark, the executive producer of the show since 1979 who passed away a year ago.