Morgan Wallen wins Album of the Year at the ACM Awards

Morgan Wallen won Album of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Monday night for “Dangerous: The Double Album,” a year after he was removed from the ACM election after being caught using a racial slur on camera.

Wallen didn’t directly reference the issue and his absence from the recent awards shows when he accepted the trophy at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, but may have hinted at it.

“For my son, this award will mean that his father was a fighter,” Wallen said, ending his speech by enthusiastically thanking the fans in attendance.

Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood took home Single of the Year for their duet “If I Didn’t Love You,” while Lainey Wilson won Song of the Year for “Things a Man Oughta Know.” The artists later performed the songs live in a performance-intensive show.

The show, which was streamed live on Amazon Prime Video, attempted to evoke a party atmosphere while paying tribute to global and local tragedies.

As Old Dominion took the stage to win its fifth straight ACM Award for Best Group, lead singer Matthew Ramsey said he was glad host Dolly Parton opened the show by dedicating the night amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine have.

“I felt a little strange because we’re in this beautiful bubble,” Ramsey said. “Everyone here has fought for their dreams, but there are people out there who are fighting for their lives.”

Aldean, who was performing at a nearby music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in 2017, when a 64-year-old man opened fire, killing 60 peoplesaid he still couldn’t believe the moment he introduced Chris Stapleton.

Stapleton performed his angry song about the shooting, “Watch You Burn.”

“Only a coward would take a gun and shoot at a crowd trying to have fun,” Stapleton sang.

Otherwise, the show did its best to be light-hearted fun.

Parton opened the show by taking the stage at the Hallenstadion in a jumpsuit that appeared to be covered in sparkling shards of glass.

“A disco ball just fell on me,” Parton said. “I just hope nothing pierces me.”

Then followed the first of several lengthy blocks of performances – including a 35-minute one – in a ceremony that seeks to emphasize the music and a concert-like atmosphere.

Parton’s co-hosts Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett celebrated the show’s return to their usual hometown after two years in Nashville. They sang Elvis Presley’s classic “Viva Las Vegas” and Faith Hill’s “Let’s Go to Vegas”.

Medleys followed from Eric Church and Walker Hayes, who began his performance deep in the stadium stands, dressed as casually as the people in the cheap seats, as he sang his viral hit “Fancy Like” about going on a date at Applebee’s.

The Osborne brothers broke a three-year Dan + Shay winning streak to take Best Duo, the first trophy presented during the show.

Attracted by ACM’s reputation for having a fun, welcoming, and inclusive atmosphere, Amazon sought to go beyond the live sporting events it has previously broadcast to connect them with a large audience of country fans who listen to Amazon Music.

The show tried to have a sporty look, with three stages, overhead spider cameras, non-stop action, and heavy graphics.

The show was touted as being ad-free, but there were pauses to promote Amazon’s original films and TV series.

In a moment of advertising synergy, author James Patterson introduced a performance by Parton and Kelsea Ballerini.

Patterson and Parton co-authored the novel Run, Rose, Run. which went on sale on Amazon on Monday. Parton and Ballerini performed a duet from the companion album, available on Amazon Music, while Ballerini plays the role of the title character in the audio book on Amazon’s



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