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Miranda Lambert wins female vocalist as Chris Stapleton dominates ACM Awards

Tribune News Service • Apr 4, 2016 at 9:36 AM

(TNS) — Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton may have dominated the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards, but Miranda Lambert took home her share of prizes after Sunday night's televised awards extravaganza.

Lambert, who has Tishomingo ties, earned her seventh straight female vocalist of the year trophy at the ACM Awards before stopping the show with a rollicking rendition of the ZZ Top hit "Tush" featuring Billy Gibbons and Keith Urban on guitars.

 

Before the show began, Lambert already had earned one award, for vocal event of the year, which she shared with Little Big Town for their collaboration "Smokin' and Drinkin'."

"I love seeing tonight a bunch of new country girls shining and singing their great songs that they wrote themselves. I'm really excited for women in country music, and I'm glad to be here as one of them," Lambert said from the MGM Grand Garden Arena stage in Las Vegas, where she also praised Checotah native Carrie Underwood, whom she said "killed it" during her performance of the new single "Church Bells."

Underwood, country legend Dolly Parton, pop star Katy Perry and new female vocalist of the year Kelsea Ballerini were among the women who gave strong performances during the CBS telecast, but the night belonged to songsmith-turned-superstar Stapleton.

He scored six wins, including male vocalist of the year, album of the year for "Traveller" as both artist and producer and song of the year for "Nobody to Blame" as both artist and producer and the pre-show honor new male vocalist of the year.

Stapleton tied the record for most ACM Awards won in a single year, a mark only Oklahoma country superstar Garth Brooks, who presented Stapleton with the album of the year award via satellite from a concert in Ottawa, Ontario, and Faith Hill have reached before.

Not only did Stapleton render the star-studded crowd speechless with his performance of "Fire Away," but he also was the subject of the line of the night, from Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman, who thanked Stapleton for not being nominated in the vocal group of the year category when her country quartet received that award.

Stapleton also was not nominated for the top prize, entertainer of the year, which went to hit-maker Jason Aldean.

Thomas Rhett won his first career ACM Award for single record of the year for "Die a Happy Man," while Eric Church, who paid tribute to the late music stars Glenn Frey, David Bowie, Scott Weiland and Lemmy during the show, garnered video of the year for his clip for "Mr. Misunderstood."

Florida Georgia Line won vocal duo of the year for the third year in a row, and Old Dominion was named new vocal duo or group of the year.

Returning co-host Luke Bryan was teamed with newcomer master of ceremonies Dierks Bentley, who succeeded Ada native Blake Shelton. However, Shelton crashed Bryan's opening number before performing his new single "Came Here to Forget."

Other performers included Little Big Town with Trombone Shorty, Tim McGraw, Cam, Chris Young with Cassadee Pope and Kenny Chesney.

— Brandy McDonnell, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

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