Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton weren't lying when they said the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards would be all about live music on Sunday night.
It wasn't until the start of the show's second hour that an award was handed out during the telecast. Florida Georgia Line scored the night's first honor -- vocal duo of the year. Justin Moore got choked up while accepting the new artist of the year trophy, topping Brett Eldredge and Kip Moore.
Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" won song of the year. "This is not for me -- this is for the writers," he said pointing to the track's songwriters. The Band Perry, who won vocal group of the year, called it a "mountaintop moment."
Jason Aldean, who took home male vocalist of the year, said, "It's been one hell of a ride. I hope it doesn't end anytime soon. He beat out Brice, Bryan, Shelton and Urban for the honor. Miranda Lambert not only scored single record of the year, but she also walked away with female vocalist of the year.
Keith Urban scored few wins before the telecast, including producer and performer honors. He saw another win when he and Lambert took home vocal event of the year for their duet "We Were Us." The video of the year went to "Highway Don't Care" featuring Urban, Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift.
The Band Perry got the evening started with a bang, heating up the MGM Grand's Garden Arena in Las Vegas with the new single "Chainsaw."
It was the first of what would become a music-filled evening with stand-out performances byFlorida Georgia Line and ACMs co-host Blake Shelton, who performed his new single, "My Eyes" and later took the stage with Shakira. Martina McBride introduced George Strait, one of the evening's most anticipated performers, calling him a "legend." The veteran singer brought the audience members to their feet with his performance of "I Got a Car." Another highlight? Stevie Nicks taking the stage with Lady Antebellum for a medley that included Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon." And Darius Rucker further proved he's got this country thing on lock-down with what became an audience sing-a-long version of "Wagon Wheel."
Shelton and fellow emcee Luke Bryan stepped into the spotlight with a string of jokes and digs at each other, along with audience members. Bryan poked fun at Shelton, saying he and his wife, Miranda Lambert, could star on Broadway in "Beauty & the Beast."
Bryan and Shelton also brought up the entertainer of the year category for which they're both nominated.
"As far as Miranda is concerned I'm already entertainer of the year," Shelton said about Lambert.
"More like entertainer of the minute," Bryan responded. "And I'm spotting you 30 seconds." Ouch.
The co-hosting duo joked about same-sex marriage (what happens you're in a longtime relationship), called out Eric Church over the likelihood of finding marijuana in his dressing room, and even tossed in a Miley Cyrus mention and a Britney Spears dig.
"If you don't like live music, then you better go down the block to see Britney Spears," said Shelton, referring to the pop star's nearby Vegas residency.
Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw are the top nominees of the evening, with seven bids each. Keith Urban is up for six awards, and Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Kacey Musgraves and Lee Brice are next with five apiece. Florida Georgia Line and Lady Antebellum have four nods.
The evening's fan-voted entertainer of the year award is truly up for grabs among this year's nominees George Strait, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan.
And you might think it's all about country music at the ACMs. But that's far from the case this year as artists from various genres and other celebrities walked the red carpet, including Olivia Munn and Jamie Lynn Spears.
Country music will be flowing throughout the show. Dierks Bentley will hit the stage with Sheryl Crow for a rendition of "I Hold On," and Brad Paisley will make the national television debut of his new single "River Bank."
Other performers include Lee Brice, Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Justin Moore, Kip Moore, Shakira, George Strait, Keith Urban and The Band Perry.
Miranda Lambert and George Strait will join forces for a Merle Haggard tribute, and Garth Brooks will present the singer-songwriter with the academy's Crystal Milestone Award.