Academy of Country Music Awards 2016: Chris Stapleton, Jason Aldean win big
Katy Perry, Dolly duet on a medley; Miranda Lambert over Carrie Underwood for Top Female
Chris Stapleton, in his breakthrough year, took home more hardware at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, winning Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year with Traveller and Song of the Year with Nobody to Blame.
Before success on his own, the bearded, Kentucky-born singer wrote or co-wrote six number one hits for some of country's biggest stars. His 2015 debut studio album Traveller also won a Grammy Award earlier this year for Best Country Album.
"You got to be kidding me. I thought for sure we were going to be girl-crushed on this one," Stapleton said onstage after winning Song of the Year, referring to fellow nominee Little Big Town's megahit Girl Crush.
In other major awards, Jason Aldean won Entertainer of the Year over Miranda Lambert, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan and Eric Church.
"I was just starting to think this one wasn't in the cards for me," Aldean said onstage near the end of the three-hour show, which aired on CBS. "This is one of the best nights of my professional career."
Lambert won the Female Vocalist of the Year Award and took the stage to perform ZZ Top's Tush with that band's guitarist Billy Gibbons, as well as Keith Urban.
The Country Music awards show held at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas got off to a raucous start with co-host Luke Bryan performing Huntin', Fishin' And Lovin' Every Day. Bryan co-hosted the show with Dierks Bentley.
Country music legend Dolly Parton also took to the stage to perform a melody of Coat of Many Colors, Jolene and 9 to 5 with pop music giant Katy Perry.
Eric Church, in a performance of his song Record Year, paid tribute to musicians who died in the past year including David Bowie, Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland, Motorhead bass player Lemmy and Eagles guitarist and vocalist Glenn Frey.
Kelsea Ballerini, who performed with pop singer Nick Jonas, won the New Female Vocalist of the Year award, while Thomas Rhett won Single Record of the Year with the song Die a Happy Man.
Florida Georgia Line won the Vocal Duo of the Year while Little Big Town won Vocal Group of the Year.
The full list of winners is as follows:
- Entertainer of the year: Jason Aldean.
- Male vocalist of the year: Chris Stapleton.
- Female vocalist of the year: Miranda Lambert.
- Vocal duo of the year: Florida Georgia Line.
- Vocal group of the year: Little Big Town.
- Album of the year: Chris Stapleton, Traveller.
- Single record of the year: Thomas Rhett, Die a Happy Man.
- Song of the year: Chris Stapleton, Nobody to Blame.
- New male vocalist of the year: Chris Stapleton.
- New female vocalist of the year: Kelsea Ballerini.
- New vocal duo or group of the year: Old Dominion.
- Video of the year: Eric Church, Mr. Misunderstood.
- Vocal event of the year: Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town, Smokin' and Drinkin'.
With files from The Associated Press