On a music-heavy Sunday evening spread across two live venues in Las Vegas, the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards broadcasted for a full 46 minutes before ever announcing the first award, and indeed taking just over three hours to announce nine awards in total. Although it was the first ACMs not hosted by Reba in 14 years, Luke Bryan stepped into the sidekick role nearly effortlessly alongside Blake Shelton, the two of them providing entertaining banter throughout the show.
You can see the entire list of winners below, but here are a few highlights from one of country music’s biggest annual parties.
–The opening performance was actually one of the strongest of the night, as Blake Shelton launched off with “Boys Round Here” from his new album Based On a True Story…, with help from Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, and the Pistol Annies. A fun, high-energy kickoff to the show.
–Kimberly Perry, lead vocalist for hot sibling trio The Band Perry, got winded while trying to keep up with new single “Done.”, but still managed to pull off one of the highest energy performances of the evening.
–Marks for “most interesting live backdrop of the evening” go to Little Big Town’s performance of “Your Side of the Bed”, featuring two aerialists suspended next to a bed set in “top view” fashion—although the visual imagery actually distracted a bit from the song, it was creative, to say the least.
–Additional notable performances of the evening included Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs” (in which Carrie pulled up in one of two, um, black Cadillacs); Miranda Lambert’s cabaret-like performance of “Mama’s Broken Heart”; and Luke Bryan’s standout performance of “Crash My Party.”
–One of the more moving moments of the night occurred when country music icons Garth Brooks and George Strait shared the stage to honor late music industry icon Dick Clark, introduced by none other than Reba.
–Country power-couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert got their primary recognition this year for their hit song “Over You,” which took both Single of the Year and Song of the Year honors. Lambert also took Female Vocalist of the Year, making her the most awarded artist of the night.
–Fan-voted top honor Entertainer of the Year deservedly went to Luke Bryan, whose popularity has soared during the past year. Unseating last year’s winner Taylor Swift, and beating out Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean, Bryan was visibly overwhelmed by the honor.
The evening was not completely without mishap, the most notable being the consistent live audio problems at the alternate venue Orleans Arena, which was primarily used to showcase live performances (the MGM Grand hosted the actual award presentations). Otherwise dynamic performances by the likes of Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert and others were clouded by soft miking. Also, the good-idea-on-paper-poorly-executed moment of the night was the collaboration of Hunter Hayes with Stevie Wonder. While it’s always good to see Stevie, his style seemed a bit out of place context, and Hayes seemed to have pitch problems harmonizing with him.
Mishaps aside, the annual ACM Awards offered a full night of great music with plenty for country music fans to get excited about–a great night all around. Congrats to the winners!
LIST OF ACM 2013 WINNERS
Luke Bryan — Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean — Male Vocalist of the Year
Miranda Lambert — Female Vocalist of the Year
Thompson Square — Vocal Duo of the Year
Little Big Town — Vocal Group of the Year
Brantley Gilbert — New Male Vocalist of the Year
Jana Kramer — New Female Vocalist of the Year
Florida Georgia Line — New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year
Florida Georgia Line — New Artist of the Year
Eric Church “Chief”–Album of the Year
Miranda Lambert “Over You” — Single Record of the Year
“Over You” (Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, songwriters) — Song of the Year
Dallas Davidson — Songwriter of the Year
Little Big Town “Tornado” –Video of the Year
“The Only Way I Know” (Jason Aldean With Luke Bryan & Eric Church) — Vocal Event of the Year