Jason Aldean was the big winner at the Academy of Country Music Awards, upsetting frontrunner Luke Bryan for Entertainer of the Year. This was the first victory in the top category for Aldean, who had been nominated four times before. It's all the more surprising because Aldean only had one other nomination this year: Male Vocalist of the Year, which he lost to Chris Stapleton, as expected. (Click here for the complete list of winners.)
Stapleton was actually the biggest winner of the night in terms of total victories. He won a whopping six of his seven total bids, which ties the record for the most wins in a single night (only Garth Brooks and Faith Hill have ever matched that total) In addition to Male Vocalist, he won the previously announced New Male Artist of the Year prize, Album of the Year for "Traveller" (winning as both artist and producer) and Song of the Year for "Nobody to Blame" (winning as artist and writer). That caps a stunning season for the breakthrough artist, who similarly swept the CMA Awards last November and won a pair of Grammys in February.
Miranda Lambert was another big winner, taking Female Vocalist of the Year for the seventh year in a row. That ties her with Reba McEntire for the most total wins in that category, though Lambert is the only one who has ever won that many consecutively. She claimed one other award: Vocal Event of the Year for "Smokin' and Drinkin'" with Little Big Town.
Little Big Town also won Vocal Group of the Year, as we predicted, but they underperformed overall. The biggest shocker was their shutout for their crossover hit "Girl Crush." They won Record and Song of the Year at the CMA Awards for it. They also won the Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group, and the tune's writers claimed Best Country Song, but it wasn't awarded anywhere at this event, even though we forecasted wins for Single Record, Song and Music Video of the Year.
Single Record instead went to underdog Thomas Rhett for "Die a Happy Man," while Stapleton's aforementioned "Nobody to Blame" was the Song of the Year champ. Music Video of the Year was awarded to Eric Church for "Mr. Misunderstood." That was the only victory for Church, who came into these awards with six nominations, including his first ever for Entertainer of the Year.
As we anticipated, Florida Georgia Line was named Vocal Duo of the Year for the third year in a row.
Photo credits: ABC