April 7, 2013

Luke Bryan wins entertainer of year

Eric Church won two awards, including album of the year.

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Luke Bryan, left, with Blake Shelton on stage at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday

The Associated Press

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Eric Church performs at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The Associated Press

 

"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.

 

Brooks appeared on stage in flannel shirt and black cowboy hat with a Fu Manchu to perform his hit "The Dance" before Strait joined him for "The Cowboy Rides Away."

 

Reba McEntire introduced the two and paid tribute to Clark, momentarily breaking down as tears appeared in her eyes.

 

"He would slap me if he saw me crying up here," she said.

 

Shelton kicked the show off with his new single "Boys 'Round Here," a hip-hop-flavored ode to redneck swag. He was joined by Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow and Pistol Annies, a trio that includes his wife Miranda Lambert.

 

Strait made his first appearance of the night earlier, singing "Give It All We Got Tonight." Lady Antebellum debuted new song "Downtown" and Charles Kelley finished off the song by rubbing pregnant trio-mate Hillary Scott's belly. Carrie Underwood stepped out of a black Cadillac parked on stage as she started her song, "Two Black Cadillacs."

 

Lambert appeared later with a fiery, diamond-studded rendition of her recent hit "Mama's Broken Heart."

 

John Mayer joined Paisley for a guitar summit on "Beat This Summer" and Taylor Swift and Keith Urban joined Tim McGraw on stage for "Highway Don't Care," which Urban finished off with a scorching guitar solo.

 

Stevie Wonder made his first appearance on a country music awards show, joining Hunter Hayes for a performance by two guys who got their start as precocious teens. Hayes kicked off their set with his song "I Want Crazy," then was joined by Wonder for his hit "Sir Duke."

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