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Academy of Country Music Awards reflects on 2017 Vegas shooting

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In the first big country event held in Las Vegas festival wherein a shooter left 58 people dead, Jason Aldean was the first speaker of the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15. The stars spoke about the power and importance of music and reminded everyone that  music has a way of helping people overcome tragedy.

From her stylish outfits to her various jokes, Reba McEntire who first hosted the ACM Awards in 1986, did an amazing job hosting the night’s events. She even suggested a collaboration between Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg.

Miranda Lambert took home an award for the category of Female Vocalist of the Year.  As Lambert accepted the award while wearing an all-black sparkling dress, she said, “I could not believe this.”

Male Vocalist of the Year went to Chris Stapleton, who couldn’t make it because he was with his wife and new twin boys. Vocal Duo went to Brothers Osborne, who did an amazing tribute to Don Williams last year.

Kenny Chesney was the first to perform his new song, “Get Along,” which has an inspiring message because it suggests that we are all different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get along.

Chesney’s rendition was followed by a number of powerhouse performances.

Maren Morris sang her new song, “Rich,” the word being lit up in big marquee letters that covered the stage. Chris Young sung his new song, “Fall into Me,” combined with his other hit song, “Losing Sleep.”

Thomas Rhett performed “Marry Me” with a set design that was similar to his music video. He sung with the backdrop of an abandoned house and newspaper clippings covered the windows, which was ironic because his song talks about memories.  

Brett Young performed his ballad, “In Case You Didn’t Know,” and cellphone lights were used to light up the arena.

Lauren Alaina sang twice. She first performed her song, “Doin’ Fine,” and then, “What If,” with Kane Brown, with a beach scene as a backdrop. Florida Georgia Line performed “Meant to Be” with Bebe Rexha, but the surprise twist was that they added a choir as the trio harmonized in sync.

Next, Lady Antebellum performed the song, “Heartbreak,” with Charles Kelley, ending the song on a high note.

Dierks Bentley performed “Woman, Amen” and when the chorus reached a height, the beige sheet dropped. Fans waited with anticipation as the pictures of real-life heroines were posted on the screen and they weren’t disappointed. These pictures included women in uniform and women fighting against all odds.

Jason Aldean performed his hit, “You Make it Easy,” with smooth vocals. Also, Keith Urban performed “Coming Home” with Julia Michaels. They color-coordinated with matching red outfits and Urban added his own style by wearing a bolo tie, complete with boots with red soles.

Little Big Town performed an amazing tribute to Elton John singing “Rocket Man.”  Kelsea Ballerini performed “I Hate Love Songs,” emerging out of the sky in a heart and singing in a 1950s-style doo-wop.

Miranda Lambert performed “Keeper of the Flame” and the stage lit up in a red-orange color. Darius Rucker performed “For The First Time” with ease and had the crowd singing along, while Dan+Shay performed “Tequila” with fans surrounding them.

The night’s other performances included Luke Bryan’s “Most People Are Good,” Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem,” Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty,” and Blake Shelton’s “I Lived It.”

Lastly, the show did a flashback to hits songs of 1993. Jon Pardi got to perform “Chattahoochee” with Alan Jackson, and the stage’s backdrop was set to the original music video. Blake Shelton honored Toby Keith with a duet of “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” Finally, Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire performed “Does He Love You.”

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