LAS VEGAS – Everything went according to script Sunday night at the Academy of Country Music Awards until the end – when Luke Bryan pulled off an amazing upset and won entertainer of the year.
Bryan beat out some of country music’s top stars, including two-time winner Taylor Swift and overall award leader Miranda Lambert, in an upset that few would have predicted. The 36-year-old Georgia native recently began headlining his first arena tour and was the co-host of this year’s show.
Co-host and fellow nominee Blake Shelton held Bryan up and joked that he won in his first and last year as co-host of the awards.
Shelton shared one award with Lambert, his wife, for Over You, the deeply personal song they co-wrote. With three other wins – including her fourth straight as female vocalist of the year – Lambert was the night’s most-honored star.
Eric Church won two awards, including album of the year, and was tied with Bryan, Jason Aldean, Little Big Town and Florida Georgia Line. Church also won vocal event of the year for his collaboration with Aldean and Bryan for their collaboration on The Only Way I Know.
Aldean won male vocalist of the year. Little Big Town had wins for vocal group and video of the year. Florida Georgia Line won for new artist and were previous winners in the new vocal duo/group category.
Husband and wife Shawna and Keifer Thompson continued their feel-good story as Thompson Square won its second straight vocal duo of the year award.