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ACM Awards Highlights: Carrie Underwood's Comeback, Route 91 Tribute & More

posted by iHeartRadio Editorial Staff -

The 53rd Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards took place on Sunday (April 15) night in the Garden Arena at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada and it was nothing short of amazing.

The jam-packed awards show honored many of Country music's biggest and brightest stars. Music legend Reba McEntire hosted the ceremony for the 15th time. Known as "Country Music's Biggest Party, the ACM Awards was a night to remember.

Some stars who won big on Sunday included Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Brett Young, Lauren Alaina, Midland and more. On top of that, Country music superstar Carrie Underwood performed for the first time since her accident from November 2017, which required her to get 40 to 50 stitches in her face. The 2018 ACMs was most definitely a fun party and we were so happy that we attended. So, in honor of such a great show, let's take a look at the top moments of the awards ceremony below. 

Carrie Underwood Performed For The First Time Since Face Injury

Carrie Underwood made her grand return to the ACM Awards stage after suffering from serious injuries last year. Months ago, the recording artist fell down many stairs in her Nashville, Tennessee home and severely injured her face and broke one of her wrists. Underwood's face injury was so serious that she required 40 to 50 stitches. Up until that time, she's been keeping a low profile, as she'd recovered. However, Underwood stepped back on to the scene when she took the 2018 ACM Awards stage to debut her new single, "Cry Pretty."

Sparkling in a shimmery dress and glittery eye makeup, which were shaped as tears, Underwood stepped back onstage like a true champion. Her past injury didn't affect her dynamic voice one bit. Underwood gave her performance her all and sounded absolutely incredible. 

ACM Awards Opened With Tribute To Route 91 Victims

"Country Music's Party of the Year" began on a somber note to acknowledge the genre's return to Las Vegas, where 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured last October at the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. Jason Aldean, who was on stage at the time of the massacre, began the tribute. 

Miranda Lambert, Luke BryanMaren Morris and Thomas Rhett were also part of the opening moments of the ACMs. "Music helps us remember what really matters in life," Luke said. Added Maren, "It makes us stronger." Additionally, many of the artists attending the ACMs wore '851' and '58' pins to represent the injured and the killed, respectively.

Miranda Lambert Became Most Awarded Artist In ACM History

It was a big night for many country musicians, but Miranda Lambert was the real winner of the night. The country superstar made history at the 2018 ACM Awards. The star won two more awards, making her a 31-time ACM winner. She officially became the most-awarded artist in the history of this award show. 

Bebe Rexha Made Grand Debut At ACM Awards With Florida Georgia Line

Bebe Rexha made her ACM Awards debut when she joined Florida Georgia Line onstage to perform their hit single, "Meant To Be." The song was released in fall 2017. Since then, it's climbed multiple charts and succeeded big time in radio. When Rexha took the stage with Florida Georgia Line, everyone in the audience looked like they enjoyed the performance a great deal. After all, "Meant To Be" is a pretty smooth, feel good song. 

Chris Stapleton Won Big, Despite His ACM Awards Absence

Chris Stapleton is an ACM Awards winner and a new dad. The now father of four and wife Morgane welcomed twin boys, ACM host Reba McEntire revealed onstage. When Sugarland announced Chris as winner of Album of the Year for From A Room: Volume 1, Reba accepted on behalf of the "Broken Halos" singer and shared the news. 

The Red Carpet Fashion Was On Point

If there is one thing to know about country stars, other than the fact that they make awesome music, is that they know how to work a red carpet! And during this year’s awards, the fashion was fierce, as always. Everyone from Carrie Underwood, to Kelsea Ballerini, to Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert all showed up to the ACMs in Las Vegas in style. 

Maren Morris Was The Definition Of "Glamorous" In Her Performance

Maren Morrisin true Las Vegas fashion, brought out all the stops with a show-stopping performance of her latest single "Rich."  By no means was this a laid-back version of her latest hit. No... this was Maren going all out with bright lights, a jaw-dropping dress and confetti to close it all out. During her performance, artists from across the arena were seen dancing, singing along & jamming to Maren's Vegas performance. It was obvious this song was making everyone feel RICH! 

Women Were Honored All Night Long

All of the Entertainer of the Year nominees were men this year and host Reba McEntire made sure to call out the fact that in her monologue. 

From Reba’s awesome job as host to the many flawless performances, this was a great night for the women of country music. So, we took notice to the amazing moments at the 2018 ACM Awards that celebrated women, inspiring all of us watching from home.

Reba McEntire And Kelly Clarkson Joined Forces For Sweet "Does He Love You" Performance

The superstar country legend took the stage to perform her 1993 hit "Does He Love You" as part of the "ACM Flashbacks" to honor classic country music hits and the artists behind their greatness. She wasn't set to sing the song alone though. Joining her is her very own daughter-in-law, the beloved Kelly Clarkson

In a stunning red dress, McEntire had all eyes on her as she sang the lyrics that have graced the hearts of country music lovers everywhere. Watching closely, almost every audience member was mouthing along to her iconic words. The harmonies these two sang out tonight were just a beautiful way to highlight this song. 

Jason Aldean Won Entertainer Of The Year And Remembered Route 91 Tragedy

Country music superstar Jason Aldean walked away with the top award of the night when he won for "Entertainer Of The Year." Beating out other artists including Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban; Aldean's wife, Brittany Kerr Aldean, looked extremely proud of him, as he went onstage to accept his trophy.

“My wife, I love you. My three good luck charms at home … I love you guys,” Jason said about his wife and kids. He continued: “It’s been a rough year and I just want to say thank you to everybody that reached out to us and showed us love and support over the last six months. It meant the world to us. To my Route 91 people, you guys are in my hearts, always. I love you guys and we love Las Vegas. Vegas strong, baby.”

Photos: Getty Images

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