The 10 Best Moments from the 2019 ACM Awards
Reba McEntire Had the Crowd Cracking Up
After walking the red carpet with new boyfriend Anthony “Skeeter” Lasuzzo, McEntire opened the show with some jokes about her exhaustion level, Kelly Clarkson's packed slate and Luke Bryan's grammar skills.
But she also knocked the Academy a bit, noting the lack of female nominees in the entertainer of the year category.
"Do you know it snowed in Las Vegas just a few weeks ago?" she asked the audience. "Yeah. It was so cold, it froze us women out of entertainer of the year. But you know what? That didn't bother Kacey Musgraves, because she's been too busy carrying all her Grammys around." (Musgraves did go on to win female artist of the year and album of the year for Golden Hour.)
Miranda Lambert Brought Down the House
The newlywed — who brought NYPD officer husband Brendan McLoughlin as her date — hit the high notes (and looked good doing it!) while performing a series of her hits. And more than a few people raised their eyebrows when she sang her single "Oklahoma" — and the line "I got the hell out of Oklahoma" — as OK native ex Blake Shelton sat in the audience.
She later returned for a second performance, with George Strait.
Dan + Shay Won ... and Won ... and Won
The guys — a.k.a. Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney — had quite a run, picking up awards for duo of the year, single of the year and song of the year, for "Tequila."
Blake Shelton Brought All the Beer
During McEntire's monologue, former co-host Shelton offered up his services (he even had a mic in his pocket). But when the songstress turned him down, he cut his losses — and grabbed a Vegas-sized Shiner beer.
Carrie Underwood Turned Her Performance Into a Party
After a quick backstage break to pump (new mom duty calls!) Underwood headed to the MGM Grand pool to get a party going with her performance of "Southbound." Leading a troupe of dancers into the MGM Garden Arena, she shimmied down the aisle — and planted a kiss on husband Mike Fisher while en route to the stage.
Thomas Rhett Called Out His Wife in the Sweetest Way
Picking up the award for male artist of the year, Rhett couldn't help but thank his No. 1, wife Lauren Akins.
"Oh my gosh, man, I love country music so much. Thank you guys so much for just loving my songs and loving our family and my beautiful — you are smokin' hot tonight," he said, pointing to Lauren. "I don't know if you know this or not. Smokin' hot."
Nicole Kidman Was on Her Feet
With Taylor Swift fully in the pop realm now, Kidman has been the go-to front-row dancer at country awards shows, and she didn't disappoint on Sunday night, getting on her feet with husband Keith Urban for a handful of performances.
Jason Aldean Was Named Artist of the Decade
Aldean received the Dick Clark artist of the decade honor, presented by the previous winner, George Strait, who lauded his "ability to connect with his fans and light a fire with his music."
In his acceptance speech, Aldean acknowledged the A-list talent watching him in the audience and he thanked the loved ones who have supported him.
"My wife, I love you, my family, my mom and dad [who] are here," he said. He also shouted out his fans and country music radio for helping give him "one of the proudest nights of my life. You guys have changed my life forever."
Chrissy Metz Made Her Live Singing Debut
The powerhouse ladies are all featured on Breakthrough‘s soundtrack along with songs by Darius Rucker and Adam Hambrick.
Keith Urban Won Entertainer of the Year
Despite McEntire's earlier joke about the category, she presented the honor with Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn — to one very stunned Urban.
"Baby girl, I love you so much," he said to an equally shocked Nicole Kidman, calling out their daughters Sunny and Faith, too. "To the fans out there, you are amazing. You have no idea how much you mean to me. No idea."