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THE 2015 ACMs:
WINNERS AND MORE
Country Music's Top Stars Gather in Texas For a Collective Yee-Haw

At AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs) went down in high style with co-hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan

The evening's big winner was Miranda Lambert, who brought home four awards, including album and song of the year. She was also the only female nominated for the coveted Entertainer of the Year, though that top honor went to co-host Bryan.

A whopping 23 live performances filled the three-hour show on CBS, with rousing tunes from country superstars George Strait, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert among the highlights. The show was a ratings smash, gathering more eyeballs than any ACMs telecast since 1998 and helping the network trounce its rivals for the night in the key 18-49 demo (3.6 rating/11 share) and in overall viewership (nearly 16 million).

A major, moving moment came when Taylor Swift, one of several Milestone Award winners, was presented her award by mom Andrea, who has recently announced she was battling cancer.

In her speech Swift said a loving—and seemingly official—goodbye to the genre. 

“Somebody once told me that you truly see who a person is when you tell them something they don’t want to hear. You truly see who a person is when you give them news that they weren’t expecting,” Swift said. “And so to the country music community, when I told you that I had made a pop album and that I wanted to go explore other genres, you showed me who you are with the grace you accepted that with. I will never forget it.” She added she was "so glad" she'd learned to write songs in Nashville.

Christina Aguilera, whose profile was raised in the country world thanks to a three-episode arc on the TV hit Nashville, performed the song "Shotgun" from the series, then caused a mini "Riot" when Rascall Flatts joined her onstage. Nick Jonas put a country spin on both of his pop hits "Jealous" and "Chains" with the help of duo Dan + Shay, who were nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year. 

Kelly Clarkson appeared onstage to fete her mother-in-law Reba McEntire with her Milestone Award. 

Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage.

Vocal Group winners Little Big Town are among the biggest beneficiaries at retail so far, as their song "Girl Crush" jumps #16-2 at iTunes and their album jumps to #5. Sale pricing and big looks at the download dispensary coinciding with the broadcast have also catapulted releases by McEntire, Florida Georgia Line and Lambert into the Top 10, while Sam Hunt continues to be a sales phenom.

The full list of 2015 winners:

Entertainer of the Year: Luke Bryan
Single of the Year: Lee Brice, "I Don't Dance"
Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean 
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Album of the Year: Miranda Lambert, "Platinum"
Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
Song of the Year: Miranda Lambert, "Automatic"
Video of the Year: Dierks Bentley, "Drunk on a Plane"
New Artist of the Year: Cole Swindell
Vocal Event of the Year: Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan, "This is How We Roll"
Milestone Awards: George Strait, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn and Kenny Chesney

 

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