Reba McEntire arrives at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Dan + Shay win at ACM Awards, Reba jokes about Cardi B

April 07, 2019 - 8:37 pm

There's more liquid in Dan + Shay's cup of tequila: The country music duo followed their first Grammy win for "Tequila" with their first win at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Dan + Shay won song of the year for the crossover hit at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday.

"This is a dream come true for us," Dan Smyers said onstage.

The duo won best country duo/group performance at the Grammys in February.

Jason Aldean, the reigning entertainer of the year champion at the ACMs, kicked off the awards show with a fun performance featuring hitmaking duo Florida Georgia Line. FGL's Tyler Hubbard wore a denim outfit featuring the American flag as he sang onstage with band member Brian Kelley and Aldean.

Reba McEntire, who is hosting the show for the 16th time, told several jokes. When she mentioned the collaborative performances of the night — Khalid and Kane Brown and Brandi Carlile and Dierks Bentley, among others — she said she would perform with rap star Cardi B.

She said they could sing her song "There's No U and Oklahoma," then said: "And that's okurrr with me," earning laughs from the audience.

Before the show, McEntire said it was disappointing that a female act in't in contention for entertainer of the year at the ACMs. Instead, men make up the nominees exclusively for a second straight year with Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan and Aldean, who has held the title since 2015.

"Carrie Underwood toured a lot this year. Kacey Musgraves is doing a wonderful job, not only in the United States (and) North America, but she's very popular in Japan, so she's working hard touring and getting country music around the world," McEntire said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It might be too early for Kacey, but she's working hard. A lot of the girls are, so I think they're being overlooked right now."

Musgraves' critically acclaimed "Golden Hour" won album of the year and best country album at the Grammys in February. She also won best country song for "Space Cowboy" and best country solo performance for "Butterflies."

Musgraves is the sole female artist in the album of the year category at the ACM Awards. Her competition includes Stapleton's "From A Room: Volume 2," Eric Church's "Desperate Man," Bentley's "The Mountain" and Dan + Shay's self-titled release.

Bebe Rexha is the only woman competing for song of the year thanks to the record-setting hit "Meant to Be," featuring Florida Georgia Line, while Maddie & Tae is the sole female act up for duo of the year. No women were nominated for songwriter of the year.

Luckily the performers at ACM Awards, airing live on CBS, include a good number of female musicians. Underwood, Maren Morris, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde and McEntire will sing onstage. "This Is Us" actress Chrissy Metz, who stars in the new movie "Breakthrough," will perform a song alongside Lauren Alaina, Mickey Guyton, Maddie & Tae and Underwood.

Others set to perform Sunday include Blake Shelton, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Combs and Little Big Town.


AP Entertainment Producer Alicia Rancilio contributed to this report.



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