Photos and videos: Carrie Underwood makes history, pays tribute to country music's trailblazing women on ACM Awards
NASHVILLE - Checotah native Carrie Underwood both made country music history and paid tribute to country music history on Wednesday's 55th Academy of Country Music Awards.
As previously reported, the ACM Awards Entertainer of the Year contest for the first time ended in a tie this year, with Thomas Rhett joining Underwood as the winner. Host Keith Urban, presenting the award, seemed as stunned as the two winners, saying "no way" with a laugh when he opened the envelope.
"Oh my goodness gracious. Keith, what is happening right now?" asked Rhett, who was the first announced winner and thanked Jesus, his wife, his three daughters, his team and his fans.
Along with finishing in the first tie for Entertainer of the Year, Underwood made ACM Awards history for becoming the first woman to win the top title three times, following her 2009 and 2010 victories.
"I am more than happy to share this with Thomas Rhett," she said, adding that she was honored to be in the category with nominees Luke Bryan, Luke Combs and Eric Church.
"Thank you to everybody here putting on the ACMs tonight. You guys made us all feel safe and you worked so hard. I'm just really glad we got to celebrate."
Underwood is the first woman to win the Entertainer title since Swift's back-to-back victories in 2011 and 2012.
Along with thanking God, her fans and her band and crew, she finished her awards speech with words of encouragement for "everybody who makes those shows happen," since the pandemic has halted touring.
"Hold on. It will happen again. Just hold on," she said.
The ACM Awards normally take place in the spring in Las Vegas, but were shifted to autumn and Nashville due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first time for the show to be centered in Music City, with the event broadcasting live on CBS from three iconic country music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe.
Underwood and the other Entertainer of the Year nominees opened the star-studded show, taking turns performing some of their early hits. "The American Idol" winner picked her crossover smash "Before He Cheats."
She also delivered a show-stopping medley in honor of the 95th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry, belting classic country hits from some of country music's trailblazing women.
The tribute included Underwood's powerhouse renditions of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” Barbara Mandrell’s “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” Dolly Parton’s “Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That,” fellow Oklahoma native Reba McEntire’s “The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia,” and Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing.”
To read more about the ACM Awards performances, winners and history-making moments, click here.
To check out my full recap, click here.