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Keith Urban, Dan + Shay, Kacey Musgraves, Jason Aldean win big at 2019 ACM Awards

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Keith Urban, right, accepts the award for entertainer of the year as presenter Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks & Dunn, looks on at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Keith Urban, right, accepts the award for entertainer of the year as presenter Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks & Dunn, looks on at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Grammy Award victors Dan + Shay and Kacey Musgraves each won multiple trophies Sunday night at the 54th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, while Keith Urban and Jason Aldean also scored major prizes on the show, which aired live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Urban won the top award, entertainer of the year for the first time with his ninth nomination. Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, the singer, songwriter and guitarist becomes the second artist who was born outside of the U.S. to win in that category, following Shania Twain in 1999. Urban also gave a stirring stripped-down performance of Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance’s song "Burden.”

“Baby girl, I love you so much,” said the flustered Urban to his wife, Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman, as he accepted the award. “To the fans out there, you are amazing. You have no idea what you mean to me.”

In the top category Urban beat out Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean; the latter had held the entertainer title the last three years. Aldean was named the Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award, following in the footsteps of Marty Robbins (1969), Loretta Lynn (1979), Alabama (1988), Oklahoma native Garth Brooks (1998) and George Strait (2008).

“That’s why I wear the cowboy hat,” Aldean said as he accepted the trophy from Strait. “More than anything — thank you to the country music fans (and) country radio, you guys have changed my life forever. … This is one of the proudest nights of my life.”

Aldean opened the show performing the new song “Can’t Hide Red” with Florida Georgia Line and sang a medley of hits, including “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with duet partner Kelly Clarkson.

Clarkson might have been a good luck charm: She also performed the uplifting song “Keeping Score” with the night’s big winners, Dan + Shay.

Dan + Shay earned song and single of the year honors for their crossover smash “Tequila,” which became the first hit to win single and song of the year in the same year since Miranda Lambert's "Over You" six years ago. The pairing of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney won duo of the year for the first time, beating Brothers Osborne, who won the last two years, and Florida Georgia Line, who won the three years before that. (Oklahoma-Texas duo Maddie & Tae and LOCASH also were nominated for duo of the year).

“I think somebody got the cards mixed up tonight,” Smyers said onstage. “This is all incredible. We are all winners tonight.”

Smyers actually won five awards, picking up double wins in song of the year as artist and co-writer (with Jordan Reynolds and Nicolle Galyon) and single of the year as artist and co-producer (with Scott Hendricks).

It was still funny, though, when Thomas Rhett offered to hand over his male vocalist of the year trophy to the dominant duo, declaring ““I am going to give this to Dan + Shay so they can go home with four.” He otherwise devoted his time at the microphone to tell his wife, “You are smoking hot tonight.”

No women were nominated for the top ACM Awards top honor, and few women artists received nods in other categories outside the female artist contests. Musgraves was the only woman nominated for album of the year but still managed to win. Her “Golden Hour” became just the third album to be voted album of the year by the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association and the Grammys. (The first two were the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack and Taylor Swift's “Fearless.”)

Musgraves also won female artist of the year, ending Lambert's record-setting nine-year streak in that category.

She dedicated the latter award “to anyone woman, girl, or anybody really” who has been told “her perspective or style is too different.”

“Just stay at it. It’ll work out,” said Musgraves, who did not perform on the telecast.

Ashley McBryde was the only other woman winner, earning the previously announced best new female artist award. Luke Combs was named new male artist of the year, LANCO received new group of the year, and Old Dominion snagged group of the year for the second year in a row.

Although no artists with Oklahoma ties were winners, several made an impression on the show. Chockie native Reba McEntire hosted for a record 16th time, employing her usual down-home wit and charm throughout the night. She also belted “Freedom,” a buoyant ballad from her newly released album “Stronger Than the Truth.”

Checotah native Carrie Underwood gave her first televised performances since giving birth to her second child in January. The superstar, who embarks on her “Cry Pretty Tour 360” next month, started her breezy party song “Southbound” poolside and then led a bevy of backup dancers through the arena all the way to the stage.

She returned to the stage to back up Emmy-nominated “This Is Us” actress Chrissy Metz, who made her live singing debut on the emotional “I’m Standing with You” from the upcoming film “Breakthrough,” in which she stars. Underwood wasn’t the only country songstress backing up Metz: Maddie & Tae, Lauren Alaina and Mickey Guyton also lifted their voices with her.

Recently announced as 2019 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees, Brooks & Dunn - the pairing of Louisiana native Kix Brooks and former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn – revisited their smash “Brand New Man” with an assist from Combs, who also appears on the duo’s new collaborative album “Reboot,” while Lambert joined Strait on stage for a lovely flashback to his early 2000s hit “Run.”

A former Tishomingo resident, Lambert also blasted back to the past with a fiery medley of her hits, including her cover of Oklahoma-born and bred songwriter Audra Mae’s “Little Red Wagon,” although the country star changed one lyric to “I got the hell out of Oklahoma.” Lambert attended the ACM Awards with her new husband, Brendan McLoughlin, while her ex-spouse and fellow country superstar Blake Shelton, an Ada native who now lives in Tishomingo, was there with his girlfriend and fellow “The Voice” star Gwen Stefani.

Shelton gave his own powerful performance of his gritty new single “God’s Country,” which is from an upcoming project for the hitmaking Oklahoman.

To read my live commentary on tonight’s show, click here.

Kacey Musgraves accepts the award for album of the year for "Golden Hour" at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Kacey Musgraves accepts the award for album of the year for "Golden Hour" at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

2019 ACM Awards winners list:

Dick Clark Entertainer of the Decade: Jason Aldean

Entertainer of the Year

Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Kenny Chesney

Chris Stapleton

Keith Urban *WINNER

Male Artist of the Year

Dierks Bentley

Luke Combs

Thomas Rhett *WINNER

Chris Stapleton

Keith Urban

Female Artist of the Year

Miranda Lambert

Ashley McBryde

Maren Morris

Kacey Musgraves *WINNER

Carrie Underwood

Duo of the Year

Brothers Osborne

Dan + Shay *WINNER

Florida Georgia Line

LoCash

Maddie & Tae

Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum

Lanco

Little Big Town

Midland

Old Dominion *WINNER

New Female Artist of the Year

Danielle Bradbery

Lindsay Ell

Ashley McBryde *WINNER

Carly Pearce

New Male Artist of the Year

Jimmie Allen

Luke Combs *WINNER

Jordan Davis

Michael Ray

Mitchell Tenpenny

New Duo or Group of the Year

High Valley

Lanco *WINNER

Runaway June

Album of the Year

"Dan + Shay," Dan + Shay

"Desperate Man," Eric Church

"From A Room, Vol. 2," Chris Stapleton

"Golden Hour," Kacey Musgraves *WINNER

"The Mountain," Dierks Bentley

Single Record of the Year

"Down to the Honkytonk," Jake Owen

"Heaven," Kane Brown

"Meant to Be," Bebe Rexha feat. Florida Georgia Line

"Most People Are Good," Luke Bryan

"Tequila," Dan + Shay *WINNER

Video of the Year

"Babe," Sugarland feat. Taylor Swift

"Burn Out," Midland

"Burning Man," Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne

"Drunk Girl," Chris Janson *WINNER

"Shoot Me Straight," Brothers Osborne

"Tequila," Dan + Shay

Song of the Year

"Break Up in the End," Cole Swindell

"Broken Halos," Chris Stapleton

"Meant to Be," Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line

"Space Cowboy," Kacey Musgraves

"Tequila," Dan + Shay *WINNER

"Yours," Russell Dickerson

Music Event of the Year

"Burning Man," Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne *WINNER

"Drowns the Whiskey," Jason Aldean feat. Miranda Lambert

"Everything's Gonna Be Alright," David Lee Murphy feat. Kenny Chesney

"Keeping Score," Dan + Shay feat. Kelly Clarkson

"Meant to Be," Bebe Rexha feat. Florida Georgia Line

Songwriter of the Year

Ross Copperman

Ashley Gorley

Shane McAnally *WINNER

Chase McGill

Josh Osborne

Contributing: The Associated Press, The Hollywood Reporter and CNN.

-BAM


Related Photos
Keith Urban, right, accepts the award for entertainer of the year as presenter Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks & Dunn, looks on at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Keith Urban, right, accepts the award for entertainer of the year as presenter Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks & Dunn, looks on at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-16a7639a2daa11e551a88c60f0a6aa5a.jpg" alt="Photo - Keith Urban, right, accepts the award for entertainer of the year as presenter Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks &amp; Dunn, looks on at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)" title="Keith Urban, right, accepts the award for entertainer of the year as presenter Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks &amp; Dunn, looks on at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)"><figcaption>Keith Urban, right, accepts the award for entertainer of the year as presenter Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks &amp; Dunn, looks on at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1b442b87f77ebd11ee4e1eb1b9506c6e.jpg" alt="Photo - Kacey Musgraves accepts the award for album of the year for &quot;Golden Hour&quot; at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)" title="Kacey Musgraves accepts the award for album of the year for &quot;Golden Hour&quot; at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)"><figcaption>Kacey Musgraves accepts the award for album of the year for &quot;Golden Hour&quot; at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)</figcaption></figure>
Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1... Read more ›

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