LAS VEGAS – Everything went according to script Sunday night at the Academy of Country Music Awards until the end — when Luke Bryan won entertainer of the year.
Bryan beat out some of country music’s top stars, including two-time winner Taylor Swift and overall award leader Miranda Lambert, in an upset that few would have predicted. The 36-year-old Georgia native recently began headlining his first arena tour and was the co-host of this year’s show.
Blake Shelton, the other co-host, shared the song of the year award with Lambert, his wife, for “Over You,” the deeply personal song they co-wrote. With three other wins — including her fourth straight as female vocalist of the year — Lambert was the night’s most-honored star.
“Over You,” written by the couple about Shelton’s late brother, also won song of the year at the Country Music Association Awards last November.
Eric Church won two awards, including album of the year, and was tied with Jason Aldean, Little Big Town and Florida Georgia Line.
Church, this year’s top nominee, also won vocal event of the year for his collaboration with Aldean and Luke Bryan for their collaboration on “The Only Way I Know.”
Aldean, country’s top-selling male act, won male vocalist of the year.
Little Big Town had wins for vocal group and video of the year.
Florida Georgia Line won for new artist and were previous winners in the new vocal duo/group category.
Husband and wife Shawna and Keifer Thompson continued their feel-good story as Thompson Square won its second straight vocal duo of the year award.
Shawna Thompson gave a shoutout to her mother from stage.
Tears came to her eyes backstage as she explained that her father had recently passed away and she wanted to acknowledge her mother during her acceptance speech to support her.
“She’s just having a really hard time,” she said.
The night was full of colorful performances, but the anticipation of Garth Brooks and George Strait performing together overshadowed almost everything else.
The two paid tribute to the late Dick Clark, the executive producer of the show since 1979 who passed away a year ago.
‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ actresses get together for sitcom episode
LOS ANGELES – It turns out “The Last Show” wasn’t the last, after all.
Just around the corner from the intersection of Mary Tyler Moore Avenue and Newhart Street at CBS Studio Center, actress Mary Tyler Moore and some of her former colleagues gathered Thursday to discuss their first sitcom appearance together since “The Last Show,” the title of the 1977 series finale of the groundbreaking “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Moore, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Georgia Engel and the ailing Valerie Harper reunited last week to tape an episode of White’s hit TV Land comedy, “Hot in Cleveland.” Harper, 73, announced in January that she was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer and told she had three months to live. But last week, Harper was robust.
“I’m kind of symptomless for this particular condition, so we’re just going to see,” she explained. She said this reunion was more about laughter than tears, in spite of her diagnosis.
The actresses won’t be playing their “Mary Tyler Moore Show” characters on the “Hot in Cleveland” episode, which is scheduled to air Sept. 4.
— From news service reports