Keith Urban, Academy of Country Music Awards, Carrie Underwood - Highlights and winners - Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban and more couples rock ...
Country music's king and queen, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, sat front and center at the 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday night, and for good reason: Not only is the superstar couple the most beloved pair to come out of Nashville, but they very much looked the part (as always) at the ceremony.
They weren't the only couple to command attention at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, though. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, who conveniently sat next to McGraw and Hill in the front row, also looked adorable together at the fun-filled show and clearly enjoyed themselves throughout the night.
Thomas Rhett and his very pregnant wife, Lauren Gregory, served up major couple goals themselves, as they eagerly awaited the arrival of their first child together. (They're also adopting a second kid from Africa.)
The 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards kicked off with a bang with last year’s entertainer of the year Jason Aldean performing “Lights Come on.”
Co-host Luke Bryan then took the stage and got audience members dancing with his upbeat song “Move” before introducing Florida Georgia Line, who sang a very Sunday-appropriate single, “H.O.L.Y.”
Carrie Underwood continued the theme with “Church Bells” in a futuristic silver dress before passing the spotlight to Keith Urban, who performed “Wasted Time” from the middle of the audience.
Bryan and his co-host Dierks Bentley teamed up with rock legend Joe Walsh of the Eagles for a special tribute to Chuck Berry -- the trio played “Johnny B. Goode.”
Bryan and Bentley then explained to the audience what they did in Las Vegas, which included fishing in the Bellagio’s fountain, seeing David Copperfield, where Bryan was sawed in half, and going backstage at Cirque du Soleil, where the two hosts tried stunts on a ring: “I thought I was going to die,” said Bryan, before it was revealed that the ring was only two feet off the ground.
“Those leotards are tighter than most of your jeans, if that’s possible,” Bentley cracked.
The duo also said they got on stage at male revue “Thunder from Down Under,” and showed off a shirtless photo from the show.
Bryan said he could never join the cast, though, because he wasn’t born in Australia -- and then he and Bentley informed Keith Urban that he has an open invitation to join “Thunder from Down Under.”
After their tour recap, Sam Hunt worked the crowd with “Body Like a Back Road,” walking into the audience and serenading a mystery woman.
Co-host Bentley took the stage in just a t-shirt and jeans to sing “Black” against a dark backdrop lit with scenes of the ocean and the sky.
“Good job, Dierks!” praised his co-host.
David Copperfield and Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell presented the first award for song of the year, but not before claiming the award went to Emma Stone for “La La Land.” Thankfully, Copperfield was able to correct the winner’s card with his magic, lighting it on fire to reveal that the true winner was Thomas Rhett for “Die a Happy Man.” Rhett thanked his pregnant wife who was watching from the audience.
Kellie Pickler presented new female vocalist of the year Maren Morris, who took the stage to sing “I Could Use a Love Song.”
The show came back to a smiling Bryan on stage, which turned out to be a wax figure, spooking his co-host, Bentley.
Jason Aldean returned to the stage to perform new single “Any Ol’ Barstool.”
Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina and Storme Warren presented vocal duo of the year to Brothers Osborne, who quipped that they couldn’t even believe they got such good seats at the show, let alone an award.
Miranda Lambert got on stage with just her guitar to perform stripped down single “Tin Man.”
Audience members brought out their phone flashlights to illuminate Rascal Flatts’ performance of “Yours if You Want It.”
Keith Urban took on a black-and-white effect in the spotlight against a blue backdrop for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” transitioning with a brief guitar solo to “The Fighter,” with Carrie Underwood joining him for the latter. Urban’s wife Nicole Kidman got up to dance during the song.
Little Big Town sang “Happy People” from an appropriately brightly colored set, covered in a blossoming floral print.
Lady Antebellum took the stage, flanked by horn players, to perform “You Look Good.”
Little Big Town returned to the stage to take the prize for vocal group of the year and spent much of their acceptance speech talking about how great Lady Antebellum were and how they wanted to wrap up the show so they could watch the “Big Little Lies” finale on HBO.
Kellie Pickler introduced Brothers Osborne, who sang “It Ain’t My Fault.” They also won new vocal duo or group of the year.
Miranda Lambert stunned the 52nd ACM Awards crowd on Sunday night, April 2nd, with a stripped-down performance of her powerful ballad "Tin Man," looking and sounding like the definition of tasteful country simplicity.
Standing alone on the massive ACM stage with only an acoustic guitar for accompaniment, Lambert delivered "Tin Man" with a lived-in touch of romantic torment, warning the famous Wizard of Oz character just how bad a break-up can be.
"Take it from me darling," she sang. "You don't want a heart."
Co-written with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, the track leads off the second half of Lambert's double-disc sixth album The Weight of These Wings, which debuted at Number One when it was released in November 2016. Although not released as a single, "Tin Man" has quickly become a fan favorite, accounting for more than 2.4 million streams on Spotify and even sneaking its way onto Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, which tracks a combination of digital sales, streams and radio play.
Lambert went into the ACM evening with six nominations, including an Album of the Year nod for The Weight of These Wings, which she won. She is currently out on her Highway Vagabond Tour, with an upcoming appearance in Nashville at the Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard tribute on April 6th.
It seemed fitting to perform the first single from this (as yet not scheduled) release set at the Academy of Country Music Awards, live from the party capital of America, Las Vegas.
McGraw and Hill have weathered a fair amount of gossip disparaging their union over the course of their relationship; but their emotional, warm duet on “Speak to a Girl” proved to any naysayers that this couple indeed is the real deal.
If anyone needed any convincing that these two are happy together: Hill gave a few happy hops – in her strappy, sky-high heels – at the end of the song before pulling her husband in for a hug.
The 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards were aired live from Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena April 2.