The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards kicked off on April 1 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and the first winner announced at the live telecast was Eli Young Band. It's announced after performances by the likes of Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Zac Brown Band and The Band Perry.
Mike Eli and his bandmates got Song of the Year prize, thanks to their hit single "Crazy Girl" which was co-written by fellow country singer Lee Brice. They received the award from "2 Broke Girls" star Beth Behrs. "I have dreamed about this my whole life," Eli said upon collecting the trophy onstage.
Next, Miranda Lambert was invited to the stage by Eli and crossover star Grace Potter as a recipient for Album of the Year. The wife of Blake Shelton won the award for her latest CD "Four the Record". Surprised by her win, she said on the stage, "Thank you so much. I really appreciate it y'all."
Lambert also took time to acknowledge her rivals. "I've been listening to every record in this category, and I thought man, I'm not going to get it," she shared. She's listed in the category along with Eric Church ("Chief"), Kenny Chesney ("Hemingway's Whiskey"), Jason Aldean ("My Kinda Party"), and Lady Antebellum ("Own the Night").
Though losing Album of the Year, Lady A still managed to snatch one award. The country music trio were announced as a winner for Vocal Group of the Year, and they received the prize from KISS. Referring to the rockers' outfit, Charles Kelley joked about looking to show some hair on his chest. Aside from the joke, they thanked their crew and fans.
A night prior to the main show, Thompson Square were handed Vocal Duo of the Year award by ACM CEO Bob Romeo. Husband/wife duo Keifer Thompson and Shawna Thompson received the honor at ACM Salute to the Military Concert at the ACM Experience at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Keifer said in his acceptance speech, "This is one of the greatest nights of our lives. ... It's hard to talk when you're crying." Fighting back tears, Shawna echoed the same sentiment as saying, "This is a very bittersweet moment for me. .. More sweet than bitter. My dad passed away a month ago. This is for my dad."
The other early winners included Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson for Vocal Event of the Year ("Don't You Wanna Stay") and Toby Keith for Video of the Year ("Red Solo Cup").