2013 ACM Recap: Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert Big Winners; Swift Shut Out

Annie McKay

America’s favorite country stars showed off their many talents this past weekend at one of country music’s biggest nights of the year. CBS aired the 48th Academy of Country Music Awards (CMAs), held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The night was full of great performances from some of country’s biggest stars, including Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw. Other performances from non-country artists included Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson and Jewel.

Miranda Lambert was the night’s biggest winner, receiving an ACM for Song of the Year and Single Record of the Year for her smash hit “Over You,” which she co-wrote with husband and fellow country music star Blake Shelton. The song alone has won six other awards, including Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year at the 2012 CMA Awards, Single by a Female Artist and Music Video by a Female Artist at the 2012 American Country Awards and Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year at the 2012 CMT Awards. It was also sung by last year’s “The Voice” winner Cassadee Pope, and is credited for winning her the show. The song, written about Shelton’s older brother who died in a car accident, is a heart-wrenching and beautifully written song, one truly deserving of all the praise it has received.

Lambert also took home the award for top female vocalist for the third year in a row. Lambert got emotional as she was clearly surprised by her win, due to being nominated alongside some of country’s most amazing female singers, including Carrie Underwood.

“I for sure thought Carrie had it this year and she damn well deserves it,” Lambert said.

Underwood was not ignored during the awards, however. Though she was unable to take home any ACMs, she performed her single, “Two Black Cadillacs” flawlessly, delivering one of the best performances of the night.

By far the most touching moment of the night was Luke Bryan’s win for the coveted, most important award of the night, Entertainer of the Year. Bryan was up against some stiff competition, as he was nominated alongside Lambert, Shelton, Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift, four of country’s biggest stars. It was by far the biggest upset of the night, as Bryan is a relative newcomer compared to his nominees, and no one appeared more shocked than Bryan himself.

Other winners of the night included Jason Aldean for Top Male Vocalist and Eric Church, whose album “Chief” won Album of the Year.

The final notable aspect of these awards was the shut-out of Taylor Swift, who didn’t win in any of the four categories she was nominated in. Viewers got to witness a couple of genuinely shocked Swift faces, when she lost for both Top Female Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year. Swift was still able to stand out, as audiences got to witness her extremely awkward dancing to Stevie Wonder as he closed out the show.

This year’s ACMs really showcased the close-knit group this group of country artists has become. Numerous artists cried tears of joy for Bryan when he won, including Lambert and Shelton.

“I’m so thankful for being in this genre of country music,” Lambert said in her acceptance speech for Song of the Year. “Every single time someone’s nominated, I just cheer, because I love everyone to death.”