Country music royalty turned out in force today for a glittering night of live performances and honours at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music awards.
Many artists took the ACM Awards stage a couple of times - in fact, George Strait was working for no fewer than four show segments (three performances and a presentation). While it was not a huge radio hit, Musgraves won several major awards for the song, and it established her as a breath of fresh air in country music.
McEntire says women in country music are working hard but "they're being overlooked right now".
Grammy award album of the year victor Kacey Musgraves was glaringly absent from the all-male nominees top category. Here's everything you need to know! "After the Grammys, and after [the ACM Awards] - you saw some really powerful women performing tonight", she explains.
Dan + Shay were among the early winners, with the hit "Tequila" scoring song of the year.
Others set to perform Sunday include Blake Shelton, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Combs and Little Big Town. Musgraves is the first artist to win the Grammy, ACM Award, and CMA Award for Album Of The Year since Taylor Swift in 2010.
The 64-year-old's uplifting performance was surely a triumphant one, as the legendary vocalist's recent battle with a strep throat caused her to delay multiple concert dates last month.
"More than anything - thank you to the country music fans (and) country radio, you guys have changed my life forever", he said.
Host Reba McEntire, marking a record 16th time in the job, wasted no time in addressing one of the evening's touchy subjects - the lack of women nominees in some top categories.