Luke Bryan was overcome with emotion when his named was called as this year's ACM Entertainer of the Year Sunday night, and it turns out he was thinking of some very dear family members who couldn't be there to cheer him on.
Luke told reporters backstage, "My family has dealt with a lot of tragedy in our life with me losing my older brother and my older sister, and that's the first thing you go. You know they're in heaven smiling down on moments like this."
As for his hosting job, Luke thinks he and co-host Blake Shelton pretty much hit it out of the park.
"I felt like Blake and I just had a blast," Luke said, adding, " I was so focused on hosting that I forgot the first line of my new single, 'Crash My Party.' I don't even know what I sang, but I just went 'blah blah blah,' and then I got back on track 'cause hosting was such an important thing for me."
Luke didn't think he had a shot at winning Entertainer of the Year since Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean were both nominated against him. He said, "I thought it was Taylor's award. Gosh knows, I cannot even believe it's happened."
Miranda Lambert wore a very revealing, low cut dress to the ACM Awards which showed off her assets quite nicely. Miranda's friend Becky, who is married to Little Big Town's Phillip Sweet, even came up to her at the show and told her, "Blake won Duo of the Year."
Miranda denied her husband Blake Shelton's claims he saw her naked that morning, saying backstage "How can you see someone naked on ACM day? There's no time for that."
Miranda admitted she didn't think she would win her fourth consecutive Female Vocalist trophy. She said, "I was rooting for Carrie because I'm such a fan of hers, and I'm so jealous of her voice and her legs and everything else she has."
Hunter Hayes' collaboration with Stevie Wonder was a long time in the making. Hunter has been a huge fan of the R&B icon for years now, and he said backstage "I was fortunate enough to get to meet Stevie last year, and we talked about collaborating."
Fast forward to Sunday night's ACM Awards, and Hunter is sharing the stage with Stevie for a performance of Stevie's hit "Sir Duke." Hunter admitted it was quite surreal even to rehearse with Stevie saying, "I just looked at every one of the guys in the band. And we're just all in awe that this is happening. I mean, it's something I've been dreaming of forever, and it finally happened. It's amazing."
Stevie had nothing but high praise for Hunter backstage. He said, "He's the kind of artist that we talk about when we say we want to bring love back to music and bring people and unity back to music. Well, this man, has that in him. So, I just say today is just the beginning of the best part of the rest of his life."
Jason Aldean was truly surprised to win Male Vocalist of the Year at the ACM Awards. Even though Jason's had a stellar year with hits like "1994," "The Only Way I Know" and "Take a Little Ride," he was going up against his very successful buddies Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Eric Church and veteran star Toby Keith.
Jason said backstage, "It was something that I always hoped I would win at some point in my career. So, to finally have it under my belt feels really good."
Jason also won his second straight Vocal Event of the Year trophy for "The Only Way I Know" with Eric Church and Luke Bryan. He won it last year with Kelly Clarkson for "Don't You Wanna Stay," and Jason joked, "Maybe they'll rename the award after me or something if this keeps up."
Eric Church won Album of the Year for Chief, and that project was named Album of the Year last year at the other big country show, the CMA Awards. Eric joked backstage, "I gotta quit saying it 'cause it's the only one we win, but it's the one award I want the most. The Album of the Year is the one that's most special to me."
Little Big Town's Vocal Group of the Year caps off an incredible run for the foursome thanks to their #1 hits "Pontoon" and "Tornado." The group's Karen Fairchild said backstage, "We're just so grateful to have this moment. You know, we know it only comes around every once in awhile. We're just enjoying it so much."
Thompson Square took their second consecutive Vocal Duo of the Year trophy Sunday at the ACM Awards. Even though it wasn't their first win, the duo's Keifer Thompson said backstage, "I truly can't believe this is our life. We never thought we would do anything like this."
Thompson Square is currently on the road with Luke Bryan, who co-hosted the show this year with Blake Shelton. Luke was there when they got offstage from accepting their award, and he handed both of them a drink in red Solo cups to celebrate the win.
"He was ready to party," said the duo's Shawna Thompson.
As for Luke's job co-hosting the show for the first time with Blake Shelton, Shawna adds, "It's the perfect combination of personalities."
Florida Georgia Line took home the fan-voted New Artist of the Year trophy, and the duo's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley still can't believe they're actually winning ACM Awards now.
Tyler said, "Literally this time last year were sitting on the couch eating Jet's Pizza talking to my roommate about, 'It's gonna be really cool. Maybe one day we can go to that award, you know, that awards show.'"
Florida Georgia Line plans to take their ACM Award on the road with them so their fans can see it and touch it at their concerts.
"Our fans mean everything to us," Brian said. "We wouldn't be here without them, so that's what it's all about. Absolutely."
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