Published Apr 16, 2018The 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards were handed out last night during a ceremony that was both celebratory and sombre. Held in Las Vegas, the awards show honoured the victims of last year's Route 91 Harvest festival mass shooting.
The show opened with a joint performance by Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett; Aldean was the performer on stage at the time of the October shooting.
"Tonight, we wanted to open the show with something that sums up what it's like for our country music family to be back in Las Vegas for the first time since October 1," Aldean said. "We thought about starting with a song, but it's a lot bigger than a single song. It's everything you'll hear tonight. The songs that bring us to our feet, make you want to bring someone close, or just live in the moment. Nothing can take that away from us."
The remainder of the ceremony mostly steered clear of politics, though some artists did wear pins with the numbers "851," "58" and "1," representing the 851 people injured and the 58 people killed in the shooting, as well as the one life that could be saved in the future.
The night's big wins went to Jason Aldean for Entertainer of the Year, Miranda Lambert for Female Vocalist of the Year (earning her the title of most ACM Awards wins of all time) and Chris Stapleton for Male Vocalist of the Year.
It also marked Carrie Underwood's return to the live stage. She performed in her first public appearance since November, after suffering a fall that left her with a broken wrist and facial injuries.
See the full list of ACM Award winners here.