We've seen the stories of Rascal Flatts not singing live, Tim McGraw being out of tune, and the Justin Moore ineligibility controversy, so I'm going to stick to the positives of the night. There were plenty to focus on. Here are my top 10 moments of the 2014 ACM Awards:
10. Miranda Lambert performs "Automatic"
Miranda Lambert typically doesn't disappoint at awards shows, and last night was no different. She peformed her newest single, "Automatic", in worn out jeans, a plain white tank top, and glittered boots. Songs about the good ole days may seem a little played out, but this one works. This song is on the softer side for Miranda, but we all know she can deliver the soft ones just as well as the light-you-up ones.
9. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan as hosts
These two are funny. Inappropriate at times, but overall entertaining. The Britney Spears joke ("If you don't like live music, then you need to go down the block and see Britney Spears" -Blake Shelton) may have been a little much with Britney's sister Jamie Lynn in the audience, but I'm sure she's heard much worse. Many stars fell victim to punchlines last night, with what some may consider PG-13 jokes, but the hosts poked enough fun at each other to prevent any publicly upset celebrities.
8. Justin Moore finally wins an award
It's about time. After 3 successful albums and several top 10 hits, Justin Moore is finally getting the recognition it seems he has earned. It's unfortunate that the award is surrounded by controversy of Moore not being eligible for New Artist of the Year due to having too much success, but we can't blame the artist for that. P.S.: Justin had the same sentiment in a NSFW video he posted on Twitter:
7. Lee Brice performs "I Drive Your Truck"
This song is fantastic. It deserved Song of the Year, and it also deserved a full performance. I hated seeing this one cut short, but it was better than not seeing it at all. This is a rare truck song that's not about partying.
6. "Mama's Broken Heart" Wins Single of the Year
I like this song, but I really like the songwriters. Brandy Clark put out one of my favorite albums this year, and Kacey Musgraves represents country music about as well as you could ask. Congratulations to two of the genre's best. On an unrelated note, the video is one of Miranda Lambert's finest.
5. Stevie Nicks performs with Lady Antebellum
This was awesome. Stevie Nicks is awesome. "Rhiannon" is awesome. I'm thankful for that performance.
4. Eric Church's "Give Me Back My Hometown" performance
This was more subdued than the typical chest-pounding, boot-stomping, hell-raising type of show we see from Church. And as much as I love those, his performance last night proved his worth. He doesn't need loud electric guitars and pyrotechnics to
3. Kacey Musgraves wins Album of the Year for Same Trailer, Different Park
This girl's got it going on. She's making a name for herself as a relatively new artist, and I'm thankful for her. This album was not like much else we see in mainstream country today. Every emotion you could think of is represented, with songs about doing what you want ("Follow Your Arrow"), mobile home living ("My House"), and being stuck in the same small town rut forever ("Merry Go 'Round"). This award is great for female country singers, traditional country singers, and all country music fans.
2. Miranda Lambert and George Strait pay tribute to Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard won the Crystal Milestone Award, and even though I'm not sure what it's for or who past winners are, I'm giddy. Any chance to see The Hag and I'm a happy girl. George Strait and Miranda Lambert performed two of Merle's hits, "I'm A Lonesome Fugitive" and "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" and were great. Even though they shortened each song, it was still one of the highlights of the night.
1. George Strait wins Entertainer of the Year.
King George reigns supreme. Although this may just be a kind parting gift to one of the greats as he finishes up his final tour, it's deserved. Well deserved. Congratulations, Academy and fans, you got this one right.