You could be excused if you tuned into the 46th Academy of Country Music Awards show on Sunday night and thought that maybe you’d overslept and missed the Grammys. In addition to the usual complement of cowboy hats and bedazzled boots, there was a healthy dose of rock and pop glitter at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In addition to “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler lending his formidable pipes to a duet with Carrie Underwood on her hit “Undo It,” the pair chewed up the stage for Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” with Underwood looking comfortable screeching the song’s chorus into a microphone with a glittery whip on the end.
There were also some awards handed out, including four to Miranda Lambert, who won Best Female Vocalist, as well as Single, Song and Video of the Year honors for her tune “The House That Built Me.” But her roll ended at the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year trophy, which went to Taylor Swift, 21, the youngest-ever winner of that honor.
“This is the first time I’ve ever won this, and I’m just losing my mind,” a teary Swift said in her signature breathless manner. “The fact that this is from the fans makes it so beautiful. … You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. Ever … We just got back from touring in Europe and Asia, so thank you for this wonderful welcome-home gift.”
Earlier in the night, Swift premiered her new single, a get back tune at critics who’ve slagged her live singing in the past, which she performed while plucking a banjo.
It was a big night for Grammy winners Lady Antebellum as well, with the country trio winning Top Vocal Group and Album of the Year for Need You Now, while bluegrass newcomers the Band Perry snagged Best New Artist. It was five in a row for Brad Paisley, who once again went home with the Best Male Vocalist hardware, and the Gwyneth Paltrow-starring “Country Strong” took the Tex Ritter Award for films that emphasize country music.
The performance-heavy three-hour show also featured the sight of Rihanna being joined by Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles for a dramatic duet on Ri’s new single, “California King Bed,” and folk pop icon James Taylor joined Zac Brown for a medley of “Colder Weather” and “Sweet Baby James.”
Among the presenters were “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest, as well as Robert Pattinson , who appeared on the show with his “Water for Elephants” co-star Reese Witherspoon.