LOS ANGELES, USA - Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert won big Sunday April 7 as Nashville's biggest names took over Las Vegas for the 48th Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Hotel.
Bryan, 36, was overcome with emotion as Shania Twain presented him with the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year award at the climax of a 3-hour nationally televised gala that he co-hosted with Blake Shelton.
"This is the defining moment of my life...and I will never take it for granted," said the Georgia native who has just come off his first-ever headlining tour in support of his platinum-selling album "Tailgates and Tanlines."
Lambert, 29, meanwhile made 3 increasingly emotional trips to the stage -- twice for Song of the Year and Best Single for "Over You," which she co-wrote with Shelton, 36, her husband, and a 3rd time for Female Vocalist of the Year.
"Thank you for accepting me as a songwriter, not just as a singer, because that means the world to me," she told her Nashville peers.
Quipped Shelton: "I used to think I was a decent songwriter until I started hanging out with her."
Watch the music video of Lambert's 'Over You' here:
Here is the complete list of winners:
Watch Bryan in his opening spiel with co-host Shelton here:
Going home empty-handed was Taylor Swift, entertainer of the year for the past two years and a nominee in 5 categories this time around, despite the international sales success of her country-pop crossover album "Red."
Highlights included country veterans Garth Brooks and George Strait teaming up for the first time to sing "This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away" in honor of late television impresario Dick Clark, a driving force behind the awards.
Kenny Chesney in a sleeveless T-shirt got the front rows waving flags with the skull-and-bones logo of his No Shoes Nation tour, while Swift joined Tim McGraw and Keith Urban for an epic performance of McGraw's "Highway Don't Care."
The Academy of Country Music awards, first held in 1966, are a springtime West Coast counterpart of the Country Music Association awards held every fall in Nashville since 1967. - Rappler.com