LAS VEGAS - Everything went to script Sunday night at the Academy of Country Music Awards until the end, when Luke Bryan pulled off an amazing upset and won entertainer of the year.
Bryan immediately overshadowed top winner Miranda Lambert's big night by beating out some of country music's top performers, including Lambert and husband Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and two-time entertainer of the year Taylor Swift in an upset that few would have predicted because of his relatively recent move into the spotlight. The 36-year-old Georgia native recently began headlining his first arena tour and was the co-host of this year's show.
"I don't know what to say, guys," Bryan said as members the audience shouted "Luke."
"Thank you so much, fans, for doing this to me. Thank you so much for making my life what it is. What I always wanted to be was just a country singer who got to ride on a tour bus and show up on a new stage and play music every night," Bryan said.
After an emotional speech, Bryan's co-host, Blake Shelton, held his partner up and joked that he won in his "first and last year as co-host" of the awards.
Lambert won her fourth straight female vocalist award and picked up three trophies for her hit song "Over You" - one for single record of the year and two for song of the year. She was performer of the song and co-wrote the song with Shelton.
the winning lineup
Winners at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards from Las Vegas:
• Entertainer of the year: Luke Bryan
• Top male vocalist: Jason Aldean
• Female vocalist: Miranda Lambert
• Vocal group: Little Big Town
• Vocal duo: Thompson Square
• New artist: Florida Georgia Line
• Album of the year: "Chief," Eric Church
• Single record of the year: "Over You," Miranda Lambert
• Song of the year: "Over you," Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton
• Video of the year: "Tornado," Little Big Town
• Vocal event of the year: "The Only Way I Know," Eric Church, Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean
The Associated Press