American Country Awards celebrated its second anniversary on Monday night, December 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and kicked off at 8 P.M. Eastern/7 Central. Hosted by Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth, the event opened with a sing-off between the two hosts. The former sang "Oklahoma", while the latter took on "Honky Tonk".
Following the playful banter, Jordin Sparks and Josh Turner came onto the stage to present the first award of the night. Josh sang "Your Man", per Jordan's request, before they announced Single by a Female Artist to Carrie Underwood ("Mama's Song"). She beat Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Taylor Swift.
"First off ... I don't even know what to do about that intro," Carrie praised Trace and Kristin's opening set. "That was awesome." She then proceeded, "I would like to thank God for giving country music the best fans in the world! Everybody in this room that's nominated tonight or performing tonight or presenting tonight are here because you guys put them there, so thank you so much."
Next, there was Artist of the Decade countdown which placed Keith Urban at No. 10, Brad Paisley at No. 9, and Garth Brooks at No. 8. Afterwards, Lauren Alaina and Bill Engvall presented Single of the Year to Chris Young for his song "Voices". He celebrated the win with live performance, and then credited his fans, "You guys are why we're up here."
Chris collected his second prize by grabbing Breakthrough Artist of the Year. The 26-year-old country music crooner, who was crowned the winner of talent show "Nashville Star" in 2006, pushed aside such competitors as Eric Church, Eli Young Band, Justin Moore and Jake Owen.
The male continued to show their domination when Blake Shelton was declared the recipient for Music Video of the Year, thanks to "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking". He dedicated the award to his father "who's been having a rough couple of weeks." He additionally won Music Video by a Male Artist through the same work.
Jason Aldean, who leads the nomination pack with a total of eight nods, secured his first prize of the night in Album of the Year ("My Kinda Party"). He beat Brad, Taylor, Keith, Zac Brown Band and Kenny Chesney. Called to the stage by the guys from "Pawn Stars", he thanked his team and fans for their support, and said, "It's been a helluva year."
After a performance by Pistol Annies, Rodney Carrington and The JaneDear Girls took over the stage to hand out New Artist of the Year to Scotty McCreery. "This is my first award. It's a daggone Telecaster," he said before thanking Jesus and "American Idol". Prior to delivering his acceptance speech, he performed his second single "The Trouble With Girls".
Another country music newbie, Thompson Square, was also victorious that night. Duo Keifer Thompson and Shawna Thompson bagged three awards; Single by a New Artist, Music Video by a New Artist, and Single by a Duo/Group. "This is the first time we've ever won anything," said Keifer.