They say everything’s bigger in Texas, so there was no question where the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards should be held. With a record-breaking audience filling the Dallas Cowboys stadium, hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan made sure the night was packed with their whiskey-induced jokes, powerhouse performances from country legends and heartwarming tributes for the United States armed forces.
The red carpet was rolled out and the cowboy boots were dusted off as the stars put on their finest to impress country fans everywhere.
The CBS broadcast brought in almost 16 million viewers nationwide.
If you were one of the unlucky few who didn’t get to catch the show live, we’ve rounded up our top 10 favorite moments – just for you!
1. The 50th ACM Awards celebrated the only way country music fans know how!
They lived up to the Texan saying and set a Guinness World Record with the biggest audience! But it doesn’t end there, the 2015 edition of the show brought in the largest audience for a live TV award show – ever!
2. Eric Church and Keith Urban rocked the house with an opening number that left the full stadium cheering for more! Their joint performance kicked off the party with Eric Church’s “Pledge Allegiance To The Hag” and Keith Urban’s radio-favorite “Raise ‘Em Up.”
3. Christina Aguilera added her pop-inspired flare as she paired up with country fans’ favorite, Rascal Flatts. They teamed up for a powerful performance that was met with a huge applause from the entire stadium – and the millions of viewers at home!
4. Garth Brooks gave a patriotic performance of “All-American Kid” and welcomed U.S. military representatives into the stadium. The emotional setting ended with Brooks saluting the United States armed forces protecting our freedom.
5. With her smoking hot performance, Miranda Lambert arguably stole the night with her feisty stage presence during “Mama’s Broken Heart/ Little Red Wagon” medley. She then went on to top the night with the ACM Milestone Award for Most Awarded Solo Female Artist!
6. With his iconic faded blue jeans and worn-in cowboy hat, Kenny Chesney took the stage for his classic hit “Young” and new single “Wild Child.” He was also presented with an ACM Milestone Award as a four-time entertainer of the year.
7. Country music legend George Strait did not disappoint with his show-stopping performance of “All My Exes Live In Texas” and proved he’s still got it! He launched his latest hit “Let It Go,” and then went on to accept the ACM Milestone Award for Winning Over Four Decades at the ACM Awards!
8. Reba McEntire brought her Southern charm to the stage with her standout performance of her greatest hits. Her perfect medley showed the young stars in the audience who the country queen really is! Kelly Clarkson then presented Reba with her ACM Milestone Award for Most Awarded Solo Female Artist!
9. Country sweetheart Luke Bryan put his host duties to the side when Steven Tyler presented him with the ACM Entertainer of the Year award. His charismatic smile and country charm won over fans the moment he stepped up for his acceptance speech!
10. Last but definitely not least, Taylor Swift’s mother made an unforgettable appearance. Andrea Swift’s presentation for her daughter’s special award was wrapped up with a fun memory about the original creation of Swift’s hit “Love Story.” Her appearance comes just days after Swift confirmed her mother was diagnosed with cancer. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience!
All pictures courtesy of Getty Images.
Check out the video below to hear Andrea Swift’s inspirational speech. All in all, the 50th ACM Awards were complete with country music’s legends, up-and-coming stars and plenty of tributes to remind us why we all love the spirit of country music.
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