Sunday night was filled with cowboys, country music and God as Reba McEntire hosted the 54th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.
The night saw some of the major faces in country music, such as George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Luke Bryan. As well as new faces, like Dan + Shay, Kane Brown and Luke Combs.
Live in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, McEntire took the stage as host. In true Reba fashion, she kept the audience laughing in between performances and awards.
Kicking off the night was band Florida Georgia Line with Jason Aldean performing “Can’t Hide Red.”
When mentioning the upcoming duets later in the night, McEntire made a jab to rapper Cardi B, saying, “I have a song we can do together. ‘There’s no U in Oklahoma’ and that’s ‘okur-r-r’ with me,” imitating Cardi B’s iconic rolling of the tongue in “OK.”
The first award of the night, “Song of the Year,” was awarded to singer/songwriters Dan + Shay for their song “Tequila.” The brothers would go on to also win “Single of the Year” with the same song, as well as “Duo of the Year,” featuring their song “Speechless.” Three more awards were also given to them throughout the night.
Miranda Lambert, who has won 32 ACM awards, performed a medley of some of her classic hits, such as “Kerosene,” “Gunpowder & Lead,” “Mama’s Broken Heart,” “White Liar” and “Little Red Wagon.”
Lambert, whose ex-husband and country star, Blake Shelton, was also in attendance, changed the lyric in “Little Red Wagon” from “I live in Oklahoma” to “I got the hell out of Oklahoma,” as she has done in every performance since the split.
She went on to win “Female Artist of the Year.”
Other performances consisted of “Male Artist of the Year” winner Thomas Rhett with “Look What God Gave Her;” Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne with “All My Favorite People;” and the “king of country music” George Strait with his classic hit “God and Country Music.”
Shelton also performed a new single of his as well with “God’s Country.”
“New Male Artist” was awarded to Luke Combs for his song “Beautiful Crazy,” which he went on to perform.
The show gave many flashback performances throughout the night with collaborations that surprised everybody, such as Kane Brown with Khalid, Dierks Bentley with Brandi Carlile, Dan + Shay with Kelly Clarkson, Eric Church with Ashley McBryde and many more.
Carrie Underwood, who released her new album “Cry Pretty” last year, gave one of the biggest performances in ACM history. Underwood, who will start her Cry Pretty Tour in May and has three Grammys and 14 ACM awards to her name, performed “Southbound” off her new album.
Underwood also did something out of character for herself and ventured through the crowd at the start of her performance. She has said that doing so stresses her out, but “Southbound” is a fun, upbeat song, and she wanted the same connection to the audience as her fellow country singers, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan.