GEORGE STRAIT'S farewell tour made him the favorite to win last night's Entertainer of the Year, and the voters agreed. So did the crowd. The audience gave him a standing ovation when he took the stage.
And when it was over BLAKE SHELTON nailed it by saying, "Our hero won tonight. That's how it's supposed to be."
But it was Blake's wife MIRANDA LAMBERT who took home the most trophies. She won Female Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year for "Mama's Broken Heart", and she shared Vocal Event of the Year with KEITH URBAN for "We Were Us".
The best line of the night came from 5-foot 7-inch JUSTIN MOORE. When he won New Artist of the Year he said, quote, "I was beginning to think there might be a height requirement for this award."
One of the more anticipated performances was LADY ANTEBELLUM and STEVIE NICKS. They did Lady A's "Golden" and FLEETWOOD MAC'S "Rhiannon".
LEE BRICE won Song of the Year for "I Drive Your Truck". It's a songwriter award and Lee did a solid by giving the mic to the writers so they could have their moment.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE won Duo of the Year and the crowd came alive when they performed "This Is How We Roll" with Luke Bryan.
KACEY MUSGRAVES took home the Album of the Year award for "Same TrailerDifferentPark". Good choice, but I'm wondering why she wasn't invited to perform.
GARTH BROOKS presented MERLE HAGGARD with the ACM Crystal Milestone Award. GeorgeStrait came out to perform Merle's "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive" and Miranda Lambert did "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down". It was Merle's 77th birthday and Garth made the audience sing "Happy Birthday".
One last word: Earlier in the show GeorgeStrait and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made a big deal announcing that next year's 50th anniversary ACM show will be held at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Do ya’ll care?
This Year's Academy of Country Music Award Winners are . . .
Entertainer of the Year: GeorgeStrait
Top Male Vocalist: Jason Aldean
Top Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert
Top Vocal Group: The Band Perry
Top Vocal Duo: Florida Georgia Line
Top New Artist: Justin Moore
Album of the Year: "Same Trailer Different Park", Kacey Musgraves
Song of the Year: "I Drive Your Truck", Lee Brice
Single Record of the Year: "Mama's Broken Heart", Miranda Lambert
Video of the Year: "Highway Don't Care", Tim McGraw featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban
Vocal Event of the Year: "We Were Us", Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert
Click on the pic to see a BIG ole gallery from last night’s show.