“It was good to get the fire again,” said Garth Brooks (with host Reba McEntire) of performing.
Gambling? “The first time I lose 50 bucks,” said top male vocalist Brad Paisley, “I think,’That wasn’t much fun.’ I may as well take that $50 and go eat!”
Top vocal group Rascal Flatts also received the ACM/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award for charity work.
Kenny Chesney walked off as entertainer of the year (with his date, Allison Stewart).
“We’re yin and yang,” said Kellie Pickler of BFF Taylor Swift. They posed together in PEOPLE’s exclusive photo booth.
Taylor Swift sang in the rain onstage—and took home the award for top new female vocalist.
“There’s such cool energy here,” said Carrie Underwood (in a “so comfortable” Badgley Mischka dress) of Las Vegas.