Luke Bryan, who hails from Leesburg, Ga., won the top honor at Sunday's 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards.
He was crowned Entertainer of the Year, beating Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean for the title. Fan votes help decide the honor. "I don't know what to say, guys," he said while accepting the award. "Thank you so much for making my life what it is...This is the defining moment of my life and it means the world to me."
He's the first male winner of the award since 2007.
Discussion time: Did the right singer win? Please share your comments in the section below.
Bryan performed at the Phenix City Amphitheater in 2008. He shares a hometown with "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips.
Former "American Idol" champs Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood performed at the ACM Awards Sunday night.
But they missed out on the awards for which they were nominated.
Miranda Lambert was named best female vocalist and Jason Aldean best male vocalist.
Bryan and Macon-born Aldean weren't the only successful Georgia artist Sunday night. Little Big Town, which includes members from Georgia and Alabama, won Vocal Group of the Year. Florida Georgia Line, which includes a Georgia singer, won New Artist of the Year.
Here's a recap of the show, which aired on CBS live from Las Vegas.
8 p.m. -- Co-hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan kick off the show by performing "Boys 'Round Here." The bromance alone is fascinating enough, but things get even more entertaining when Sheryl Crow and Pistol Annies join them on stage. Brad Paisley makes a cameo toward the end of the performance.
8:05 -- Time for some humor from Blake and Luke. My favorite part? The shout-out to the "Duck Dynasty" crew in the audience. Luke quips, "Now, which one of them is Zac Brown?" The rest of the jokes are borderline. I saw some comments online suggesting their humor was too crude. Anyone agree?
8:10 -- Kenny Chesney performs "Pirate Flag." Not much to report here. The performance doesn't include many special effects, unless you count the abundance of pirate flags in the audience. Where's Captain Jack Sparrow when you need him?
8:18 -- The cameras move over to the "fan jam," where Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Hunter Hayes team up to perform "Outstanding In Our Field." I think Brad is wearing pleather pants.
8:23 -- George Strait sings "Give It All We Got Tonight." This would be a lot better if we got a shot of the "Duck Dynasty" guys slow-dancing.
8:33 -- Eric Church performs "Like Jesus Does." These performances are great...but can we get some women on stage? I'd even go for some Taylor Swift right now.
8:38 -- Back at the "fan jam," the guys from Florida Georgia Line sing "Cruise."
8:43 -- The musicians from Lady Antebellum perform "Downtown." I'm enjoying Hilary Scott's maternity wear at this show.
8:47 -- Vocal Duo of the Year is Thompson Square. I'm a little surprised they beat Sugarland.
8:50 -- Let's travel over to the "fan jam," where Brantley Gilbert performs "More Than Miles."
8:58 -- Here's Carrie Underwood, performing "Two Black Cadillacs." There are two black Cadillacs on stage. I'm really loving Carrie's look in this performance....love the edgy black lace.
9:02 -- Album of the Year goes to Eric Church for "Chief." I'm happy for him...but let's talk about presenter Miranda Lambert's dress. Anyone else think she's a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen?
9:05 -- Blake Shelton sings "Sure Be Cool If You Did." I'm swooning.
9:10 -- The Band Perry performs "DONE." I'd argue this song is more rock than country, but I still dig it. Remember, they'll perform in Columbus June 22.
9:14 -- Back at the "fan jam," Jana Kramer sings "Whiskey."
9:20 -- New Artist of the Year goes to Florida Georgia Line. Fan votes help decide this award.
9:23 -- Jason Aldean performs "1994." So, this song is just about 1994? Just checking.
9:26 -- Vocal Group of the Year goes to Little Big Town.
9:34 -- Miranda Lambert performs "Mama's Broken Heart." This song has a very unique vibe and I love it. This is probably my favorite performance so far. Oh yeah, I must mention how Blake Shelton introduces his wife's performance. After listing some of her accomplishments, he adds, "This morning, I saw her naked."
9:37 -- Song of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert's "Over You." Miranda and Blake composed the song. Aww...I love them so much.
9:46 -- Little Big Town performs "Your Side of the Bed." For the uninitiated, this is NOT a country cover of "Yo Side Of The Bed" by Trey Songz. That said, it's a pretty cool performance, thanks largely to the elevated bed and the two people who move around on it while hanging from ceiling ropes.
9:50 -- Single Record of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert's "Over You." Looks like she's dominating the night.
9:58 -- Faith Hill introduces a performance by Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. They sing "Highway Don't Care." Keith Urban's guitar skills are my favorite part of the performance.
10:02 -- Ready for something random? LL Cool J is hanging out at the "fan jam." Is there a rule that he must be at every awards show?
10:03 -- LL Cool J introduces a performance by Brad Paisley and John Mayer. They sing "Beat This Summer." John hasn't embraced country music's pleather pants trend.
10:09 -- Luke Bryan debuts his new single, "Crash My Party." While the name might suggest otherwise, it's actually a ballad.
10:20 -- Kelly Clarkson time! She performs "Don't Rush," which really isn't a country song, but I'm happy to see her on stage.
10:26 -- Jewel is in the house! No, I'm not kidding. She sings "Hands" and "Fill a Heart," which was written to raise awareness of child hunger. Only kindness matters in the end, folks.
10:29 -- Male Vocalist of the Year is Jason Aldean. "I love what I do and I appreciate you guys letting me do it," he says.
10:31 -- Well hello, Reba McEntire! She pays tribute to Dick Clark. She says the ACM is renaming its most prestigious award -- Artist of the Decade -- to honor Dick Clark. The honorees who will perform: Garth Brooks and George Strait.
10:33 -- Garth Brooks! Garth Brooks! Garth Brooks! He sings "The Dance" and I am in heaven. Then, George Strait sings "The Cowboy Rides Away" while joined by Garth Brooks. I really, really wanted to hear more Garth.
10:42 -- Keith Urban is introduced as "the no-fly zone between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey." He presents the next award.
10:43 -- Female Vocalist of the Year is Miranda Lambert. In an emotional speech, she describes the power of watching her musical idols. "I'll never not be a fan of those beautiful women," she says.
10:46 -- Hunter Hayes sings "I Want Crazy." Be careful what you wish for, dude. Humor aside, this is a pretty entertaining performance. Eventually, Stevie Wonder joins him on stage and busts out a little "Sir Duke." Hunter sings the song, too. Not sure if the harmonies really work, but I appreciate the giant beach balls floating through the audience.
10:55 -- Shania Twain is in the house to present the final award of the night. Quick question, readers: Whose bed have your boots been under?
10:56 -- Entertainer of the Year is Luke Bryan. Wow...I'm happy for him, but pretty surprised. He gets very emotional on stage. "I don't know what to say, guys," he says. "Thank you so much for making my life what it is...This is the defining moment of my life and it means the world to me." Fan votes help decide this award.
11:00 -- Stevie Wonder closes the show with "Signed, Sealed & Delivered." Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton join him on stage toward the end of the song.
11:04 -- We're done! What did you think? I wish Garth Brooks would've closed the show.
By Sonya Sorich - Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
©2013 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.)
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