On Sunday, April 3, 2016, superstars Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley took the stage at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena to co-host the 51st ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS®. The show, produced by dick clark productions, marked Luke Bryan’s fourth consecutive turn hosting the Awards and Bentley’s first time hosting a LIVE televised event.
The star-studded ceremony, which broadcast LIVE on the CBS Television Network, was full of once-in-a-lifetime musical collaborations, performances and more as some of country’s greatest talents were recognized for their achievements.
The industry named Jason Aldean as Entertainer of the Year, the evening’s biggest honor. While Aldean had been previously nominated four times in this category, this year marked his first time taking home the trophy.
Dolly Parton was presented the Tex Ritter Award to recognize the success of Coat of Many Colors. The Tex Ritter Award is presented to recognize a motion picture that featured country music and received major exposure. Parton and pop superstar Katy Perry joined forces for an unprecedented duet performance live on the telecast.
Chris Stapleton won Male Vocalist of the Year for the first time. He came into the night already a winner of the New Male Vocalist of the Year award and was the leading winner of the night with a total of six wins, including Album of the Year as both Artist and Producer, and Song of the Year as both Artist and Producer. With his six wins he tied the record for most ACM Awards won in a single year. Only Garth Brooks and Faith Hill have reached this pinnacle before.
Miranda Lambert won Female Vocalist of the Year for the seventh consecutive year, setting a new record for the most consecutive wins in that category. Lambert also won Vocal Event of the Year for Smokin’ And Drinkin’ with Little Big Town, which presented prior to the show on the red carpet.
Little Big Town won the Vocal Group of the Year award for the second year in a row, and third time overall. They also won Vocal Event of the Year for Smokin’ And Drinkin’ with Miranda Lambert.
Thomas Rhett won Single Record of the Year for Die A Happy Man. This was Rhett’s first-ever ACM award win.
Kelsea Ballerini was previously awarded New Female Vocalist of the Year, and performed an energetic medley of her new single Peter Pan and her breakout number-one hit Love Me Like You Mean It with Nick Jonas.
Eric Church won Video of the Year for Mr. Misunderstood. Florida Georgia Line won Vocal Duo of the Year for the third year in a row. Both Church and Florida Georgia Line were presented with the awards prior to the telecast.