Stars pay tribute to Vegas shooting victims during powerful ACM Awards

The 2018 American Country Music Awards were all about emotion on Sunday night (15Apr18) as stars paid tribute to the victims of the Route 91 massacre in Las Vegas.

Hosted by Reba McEntire, the annual prizegiving, held at the Garden Arena at the MGM Grand, was a sombre affair early on as Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Thomas Rhett took the stage to address the October tragedy, during which a sick gunman killed 58 fans and left hundreds more injured.

"Music does so much more than provide an escape from the pain. It inspires us, it soothes us and it makes us stronger, Morris said.

Later in the show, a video segment saluting the musicians who have donated their time to the American Country Music Lifting Lives charity was shown and afterwards, Dierks Bentley helped lift the crowd’s spirits with a powerhouse take on his female empowerment anthem Women, Amen.

Keith Urban and Julia Michaels teamed up for his new track Coming Home, while Urban's wife Nicole Kidman cheered him on from the audience. Love was also in the air for Blake Shelton, who belted I Lived It as his girlfriend Gwen Stefani sang along in the crowd.

The big winners of the evening included Chris Stapleton, who took home Album of the Year for From a Room: Vol. 1. The star wasn’t there to accept the award as he was in Nashville, Tennessee awaiting the birth of his twins.

McEntire accepted the award on his behalf and shared her congratulations.

Lambert picked up Song of the Year for Tin Man and referenced her difficult love life during her acceptance speech. The singer also took home the coveted Female Vocalist of the Year.

"Thanks for sharing my broken heart with me," she said, presumably referring to her break-ups with Shelton in 2015 and Anderson East earlier this year (18).

The big moment of the night came as Carrie Underwood took the stage for her first public appearance since she injured her face and wrist in a November (17) fall at her home. She brought down the house with her new single Cry Pretty. The blonde beauty seemed to be back in top form as she appeared flawless in a glittery dress.

Her performance earned her a standing ovation.

The full list of winners for the 2018 ACMA Awards is:

Entertainer of the Year: Jason Aldean

Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist of the Year: Chris Stapleton
Vocal Duo of the Year: Brothers Osborne
Vocal Group of the Year: Old Dominion
New Male Vocalist of the Year: Brett Young
New Female Vocalist of the Year: Lauren Alaina
New Vocal Duo: Brothers Osbourne
Vocal Group of the Year: Old Dominion
Songwriter of the Year: Rhett Akins
Album of the Year: From a Room: Volume 1 - Chris Stapleton
Single Record of the Year: Body Like a Back Road - Sam Hunt

Song of the Year: Tin Man - Miranda Lambert (songwriters: Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall)

Video of the Year: It Ain’t My Fault - Brothers Osborne
Vocal Event of the Year: The Fighter - Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood

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