Music City Shines In Sin City
May 16, 2007 at 7:48 AM (PT)
MUSIC CITY invaded SIN CITY last night (5/15) as the 42ND ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS were held at the MGM GRAND in LAS VEGAS. In what proved to be one of the best Country award shows in a while, the performance-packed event offered up some surprising winners and more than one moving moment. Host REBA McENTIRE was as charming as ever and kept the show moving at a nice pace. She proved why the ACM relies on her to host the show year after year -- her delivery is impeccable, and her wit is edgy without being controversial.
Strong performances were turned in by a number of Country's finest, with standouts including LITTLE BIG TOWN, FAITH HILL, JASON ALDEAN, CARRIE UNDERWOOD, VINCE GILL and JOSH TURNER. BIG & RICH gave a stellar performance of their current single, "Lost In This Moment," accompanied by R&B great JOHN LEGEND. Also appearing from outside the format was KELLY CLARKSON, who sang "Because Of You" with McENTIRE. Poignant moments were in no short supply last night, starting with TAYLOR SWIFT. The 17-year-old songbird showed moxie as she sang her debut single, "Tim McGraw," accompanied only by her guitar. She then ventured into the audience and stood in front of McGRAW himself, finished her song and introduced herself to the superstar. A visably moved McGRAW hugged the obviously nervous SWIFT as did his wife, FAITH HILL.
Five-time GROUP OF THE YEAR winners RASCAL FLATTS chose not to sing their current single, but instead performed "He Ain't The Leaving Kind" while pictures of the VIRGINIA TECH victims appeared on the screen behind them along with a dedication to the families from the band. At this point, it would have been hard to find a dry eye, but it was downright impossible once McGRAW took the stage to sing a special song about our men and women in uniform who don't make it home. Behind him on the stage stood the families of 100 fallen soldiers.
Lest we forget, this was an awards show and there were plenty of hat trophies to be handed out. This year's crop of winners showed that they can hold their own with the legends as many are now tied for most wins in their respective categories. KENNY CHESNEY was named ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR for the third consecutive year, putting him in the company of greats like HANK WILLIAMS JR., GARTH BROOKS and ALABAMA as the only artists to ever win the honor three or more years in a row. GEORGE STRAIT proved that he is still the king of Country when he took home trophies for SINGLE OF THE YEAR and SONG OF THE YEAR for his 54th #1 hit, "Give It Away." BROOKS & DUNN won the DUO OF THE YEAR category for the 14th time in 15 years. They are now tied with the JUDDS for the most consecutive wins, seven years running. Super group RASCAL FLATTS' win for TOP VOCAL GROUP puts them neck and neck with ALABAMA, both winning the trophy five years in a row.
All in all, 13 awards were handed out and the winners are:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
TOP MALE VOCALIST
TOP FEMALE VOCALIST
TOP VOCAL GROUP
TOP VOCAL DUO
TOP NEW MALE VOCALIST
TOP NEW FEMALE VOCALIST
TOP NEW DUP OR VOCAL GROUP
LITTLE BIG TOWN
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Some Hearts" CARRIE UNDERWOOD (19 RECORDINGS LIMITED/ARISTA RECORDS)
SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR (awarded to artist)
"Give It Away" GEORGE STRAIT (MCA)
SONG OF THE YEAR (awarded to artist and songwriter)
"Give It Away" GEORGE STRAIT, BILL ANDERSON, JAMEY JOHNSON and BUDDY CANNON
VIDEO OF THE YEAR (awarded to artist, producer and director)
"Before He Cheats" CARRIE UNDERWOOD, RANDY BREWER and ROMAN WHITE
Check out www.acmcountry.com for a complete list of winners, including off-camera awards and broadcast winners as well as pictures and notes from the show.