The 2019 ACM Awards LIVE Blog

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Saving Country Music 2019 ACM Awards LIVE blog. As the presentation transpires over the evening we’ll be leaving real time quips and observations, snark, praise, disapproval, and whatever else is fancied in real time and completely unscripted. This means typos may be presented and harsh language is not off the table, so come with a thick skin and understand this is all just the way for true country music fans to stay sane and offer spirited dissent. Feel free to leave YOUR observations below in the comments section as well, and get your refresh fingers ready.

For what to expect on the evening, including performers, presenters, nominees, etc., check out the 2019 ACM Awards Complete Preview.

All times Central time.


  • Entertainer of the Year – Keith Urban
  • Female Artist of the Year – Kacey Musgraves
  • Male Artist of the Year – Thomas Rhett
  • Album of the Year – “Golden Hour” by Kacey Musgraves
  • Duo of the Year – Dan + Shay
  • Song of the Year – “Tequila” by Dan + Shay
  • Single of the Year – “Tequila” by Dan + Shay
  • Group of the Year- Old Dominion
  • New Male Vocalist of the Year – Luke Combs
  • New Female Vocalist of the Year – Ashley McBryde
  • New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year – Lanco
  • Music Event of the Year – “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne
  • Songwriter of the Year – Shane McAnally
  • Video of the Year – “Drunk Girl” by Chris Janson

10:14 – Once again Keith Urban walks away with an unearned Entertainer of the Year trophy just like he did at the CMAs in November, but this still feels like it will eventually become a footnote of history. In fact giving the award to Keith Urban feels like it just diminishes the award overall.

But the artist who had the biggest night was Kacey Musgraves. She wins Album of the Year, and gets Female Artist of the Year off her Grammy momentum, and breaks the chain of Miranda, Miranda, Carrie Miranda. Kacey Musgraves is becoming a non radio superstar, and the country music industry better take notice.

Dan+ Shay also had a big night with three awards, and appear to have overtaken Florida Georgia Line as the power duo of the moment.

Overall there was a lot more country music than expected, with George Strait performing three times, and numerous other traditional performances. The bad stuff was luckily compartmentalized to a few moments.

And remember, it’s just the ACMs.

10:00 – THANK YOU to everyone for following along, sharing, liking, tweeting, retweeting, and commenting. I am going to compose some final thoughts on the evening overall, run down the winners, and then we’ll wrap this up!

10:00 – It is absolutely shocking that when people refer back in the country music history books, they will see that Keith Urban was the biggest “Entertainer” in this cycle. What a joke. Nobody wants this except Keith Urban fans. What an aberration.

9:59 – Holy shit! The front of the Broken Spoke is emblazoned all over national television as George Strait takes it out with “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar.”

9:58 – Can’t believe Keith Urban did it again. What an embarrassment for country music.

9:57 – How did this happen? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?

9:56 – The 2019  ACM for Entertainer of the Year goes to … FUCK!

9:54 – “Travelin’ Light” is a great little bluegrass-esque number, and Brandi Carlile can make any song better. So glad to see her having a breakout moment here in the early portions of 2019. She’s been a star waiting in the wings for too long.

9:53 – Dierks Bentley comes out with Brandi Carlile to sing “Travelin’ Light.”

9:51 – The 2019 ACM for Artist of the Year goes to Kacey Musgraves. WOW.

9:49 – This is how you sing a country music duet ladies and gentlemen! Also glad we aren’t just getting 30 second snippets of songs, but a full performance. Great performance George and Miranda!

9:47 – I’ll take two of what Miranda Lambert is wearing in a medium men’s style shirt, please.

9:46 – Miranda Lambert and George Strait take the stage together. That’s the backdrop of Dallas in the background (native Dallasite here).

9:42 – The Chrissy Metz performance was solid, and gave an opportunity to Lauren Alaina, Maddie & Tae, Carrie Underwood, and Mickey Guyton to feature their vocal strengths, and soak up some face time, which Maddie & Tae, and Mickey Guyton both need and deserve.

9:39 – Chrissy Metz of “This Is Us” takes the stage to perform “I’m Standing With You” from the Breakthrough soundtrack with Lauren Alaina, Maddie & Tae, and Mickey Guyton joining her. Good to see Mickey Guyton, who Music Row has basically forgotten about.

9:34 – I guess I’m supposed to know this Chrissy Metz person and be super excited, but I’d never heard the name until this morning. Got an open mind though.

9:32 – Well at least we have more George Strait and Miranda Lambert to look forward to. Strait and Reba are getting a bunch of face time tonight after they both released some of the best albums in recent years.

9:29 – Jason Aldean running through all the songs that remind us why today’s country music sucks.

9:28 – One thing we know for sure, Jason Aldean does NOT use Auto-Tune. Yikes!

9:27 – What’s the over under on how long it’ll take for Jason Aldean to get #metoo ‘d ?

9:25 – Saw George Strait giving an intro to Jason Aldean, but all I could see in my mind is “King” George cutting himself off halfway through, flipping off the camera, dropping the mic, and walking off stage.

9:24 – Oh shit, now we’ve got to sit through this Jason Aldean Artist of the Decade bullshit.

9:22 – Also important to note about Kacey Musgraves winning Album of the Year, “Rainbow” lost its bullet at radio this week, stalling at #33. It hit #17 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

9:20 – Album of the Year was Kacey Musgraves’ to lose. Her losing would have been more surprising. In the field, she was the most deserving winner and it cements her place as one of the top women in country music at the moment, regardless of radio play.

9:18 – Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour” wins the 2019 ACM Award for Album of the Year. The win gives Kacey Musgraves the country music TRIPLE CROWN of an ACM, CMA, and Grammy for the same record. She’s only the 12th artist to ever do this.

9:15 – I probably would have chosen a different song off of “Stronger Than The Truth” than “Freedom,” but it’s a high energy song, and good for an awards show. Good performance, Reba!

9:14 – Reba, we’ve missed you and your red boots, your red hair, and the way you can deliver a country song like no other. Welcome back, and please never go back. Country music needs you.

9:12 – Reba!

9:06 – So we could find time for R&B star Khalid to perform a full, unedited song, but Kacey Musgraves who’s up for multiple awards couldn’t get a performance slot?

9:05 – It’s not even that this Kane Brown song is bad. It’s just so incredibly forgettable, generic, and not country, just like so many of these performances. They’re so dry, you can’t even find hate for them. Flavorless.

9:04 – Hear the banjo in this Kane Brown song? Anyone see a banjo?

9:01 – This Jay Hernandez dude is the new Magnum P.I.? Tom Selleck’s mustache could kick this dude’s ass with one hand tied behind its back.

9:00 – I get it, “Southbound” is a fun song and everything, but one of the few highlights of these awards shows is seeing Carrie Underwood perform a powerful ballad and shakes the rafters with her incredible voice. I won’t remember this performance tomorrow.

8:58 – Um, country performances aren’t supposed to start with DJ’s scrating on baby blue vinyl, Carrie.

8:56 – As Curtis pointed out in the comments, very strange that both Kacey Musgraves and Maddie & Tae’s nominee presentations for awards didn’t include their actual music like it did for the other nominees. Could the ACM’s not secure rights? Something else in the midst? Very strange.

8:52 – LANCO would have been super cool if they were wearing suspenders and bowties and it was 2012.

8:50 – What is this Imagine Dragons version of a Lumineers song bullshit band we got here? LANCO? Yeah, screw these guys.

8:48 – Give Eric Church props for trying something different instead of coming out slinging his penis around backed by arena guitar and pyrotechnics. Your 10-year-old boy thought his snake background was cool as hell.

8:46 – “The Snake” is a strange song for Eric Church to perform on an awards show, but we’ll see how this goes. Remember, he’s the primary reason Ashley McBryde got a big record deal.

8:44 – More than half way through and the server hasn’t crashed! Duct tape holding! Thanks to everyone commenting down in the comments section. I’m reading when I can!

8:43 – Notice that Thomas Rhett’s wife got just as much screen time as Thomas Rhett? That’s the way it is at all of these awards show. It’s because she’s interesting, and he isn’t. Thomas Rhett is the product of nepotism and lifestyle branding. He’s a walking Kohls commercial.

8:41 – The ACM for Male Vocalist of the Year Thomas Rhett.

8:39 – Looks like Hunter Hayes finally hit puberty at 27. Way to go tiger!

8:38 – Was not opposed to that Keith Urban performance, though it got a little crazy at the end. Surprisingly good.

8:37 – Well screw me, this Keith Urban performance is pretty damn compelling. Not country at all, but he’s commanding the moment.

8:36 – If Keith Urban wins Entertainer of the Year, I’ll be flipping more cars tonight than the entirety of the Texas Tech student body.

8:34 – Not sure “Brand New Man” has enough room for three vocal lines. Also not sure if Luke Combs could legally operate a motor vehicle at the moment.

8:33 – I know a lot of folks love the original version, but this reboot of “Brand New Man” does it for me. Yeah it’s too rock, but if it gets an actual country song in the earholes of Bro-Country refugees, I’m all about it.

8:32 – Well damn. Here’s comes Luke Combs’ solo cups again.

8:31 – I don’t know about you, but I think Midland’s new promo photos sound excellent!

8:29 – So let’s get this straight, Old Dominion gets a performance slot, but Kacey Musgraves who’s up for three major awards doesn’t?

8:27 – Lol Jason Isbell on Twitter, “When Reba made the joke about Maren Morris’s birthday party being at Chuck E Cheese she really put me in a bind. Now the toddler is gonna be very offended if she isn’t at Chuck E Cheese for Maren’s birthday party

8:25 – Is it too late to change my vote for most generic country band ever from Dan + Shay to Old Dominion?

8:23 – This Old Dominion guy looks like he made his gold coat out of Nintendo classic Adventures of Zelda cartridges.

8:22 – I’m a professional country music writer, and I can’t name you one Old Dominion song. Including this one.

8:19 – “God’s Country” would be so much better if they had played it more country. But Blake Shelton finds the passion the song calls for.

8:17 – Whatever you think about Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country,” this song is going to be massive. Huge spins at radio, massive sales on iTunes, big streaming numbers.

8:14 – P.S. – Did you see Amanda Shires? Kind of brings it full circle when she showed up to the CMAs a couple of years ago to potentially accept for Jason Isbell’s “The Nashville Sound” wearing a protest T-shirt. Cool that they kind of accepted her into the fold here.

8:10 – Man, I have to be honest. I appreciate the message of all of these women empowerment songs. But there’s better ways to do this than these mawkish, pandering odes hoping to find appeal from fawning media and the hashtag crowd. You want to lift up women and daughters? Tell a story that can appeal to people instead of stringing together platitudes. That’s what “I Hope You Dance” was about. That’s what “Fancy” was about. That’s what “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” is about. Just my opinion.

I’m talking about the new Little Big Town song “Daughters” by the way. Otherwise, it was a fine performance. Probably better than most we will see tonight. Brandi Carlile was crying.

8:05 – Holy shit. Dan + Shay has won three ACM Awards. So mild.

8:04 – The ACM for Vocal Duo of the Year does NOT go to Florida Georgia Line!

8:02 – Why can’t Kelly Clarkson be the one we’re concerned about crossing into country. She’d get no complaints here.

8:01 – Dan + Shay is so inoffensive it’s offense. They’re every pop band from America ever with updated haircuts.

7:59 – Great performance by Luke Combs. Decent, not great song, but he did something great with it, and didn’t need any bombastic production to do it.

7:58 – I know a lot of folks consider Luke Combs a lite version of Bro-Country, but you can’t convince me it’s not a positive development that this guy is quickly becoming the biggest thing in country music at the expense of Florida Georgia Line and Kane Brown.

7:57 – Thanks god Luke Combs isn’t holding a solo cup. That was a bit that needed to die.

7:56 – Something tells be Luke Combs can bankrupt a Chinese buffet.

7:53 – Back to Ashley McBryde, the only flaw in her performance was the ACMs not allowing her to perform the full song. After she worked her magic, and then Brother Osborne and Maren Morris took the stage, it exposed just how fleeting and superfluous party country is, and how important a song can be.

7:51 – Excellent performance by George Strait.

7:50 – This was no “Murder On Music Row,” but make no mistake, George Strait singing “God and Country Music” on the ACM was meant to deliver a message. And it did.

7:48 – “King” George Strait takes the stage. “There’s still two things still worth saving, God and country music.” I like to pretend that line got written after someone spent an afternoon catching up here.

7:46 – Generally speaking, fun performance with Maren and Brothers Osborne. Not country, but fine. The Osborne’s know how to bring it.

7:45 – “All My Favorite People” wish that Maren Morris would take her weak shit to the pop format already.

7:44 – Ashley McBryde just had a “moment” on the . She’s a “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” no more. Millions were just hushed, she received a standing ovation from her peers, and now America and now the world knows how a real country music song can make you feel.

7:42 – When I saw the performance lineup, THIS was the song I was most anticipating. ACMs gave Ashley McBryde the opportunity to have a “moment.”

7:41 – Ashley McBryde!

7:38 – Simple and sweet performance by Stapleton. Classy and country. Just could have used some gas, or put him out there solo and let him wail.

7:36 – I want Morgane Stapleton’s turquoise to hang on my wall.

7:34 – Chris Stapleton is great of course, and “A Simple Song” is a really sweet tune. But I’m not sure this is the most compelling performance they could have pulled together for an awards show. Give him something that can be a launching pad for his voice, and requires electric guitar. This is prime time, after all.

7:32 – Dan + Shay are the scented candles of country.

7:31 – The ACM for Single of the Year goes to “Tequila” by Dan + Shay. Sound familiar?

7:30 – These Single of the Year nominees are pure shit.

7:29 – 30 minutes in, and the first real cowboy hat. Thanks Clint Black.

7:27 – Mouths need shutting.

7:25 – This Luke Bryan performance feels like a good time to evoke the immortal words of Sturgill Simpson:

7:24 – The cameras want to cut to Blake Shelton SO bad. Especially after the “I Got the hell out of Oklahoma” line.

7:23 – Hate these medley performance. You never get the opportunity to get into the groove of anything.

Who’s the old guy on the acoustic behind Lambert in the dark sunglasses? My bet it’s someone cool.

7:21 – Here comes Miranda Lambert. 32 ACM awards. Goodness.

7:17 – Song of the Year is supposed to be an award for a song that has impact and resonance beyond a given calendar year. Can anyone make that claim for Dan + Shay’s “Tequila”?

7:15 – Thomas Rhett looks like that loser trying to date your daughter who swears he’s flexing his shifts delivering for Dominoes to finish his GED at the community college.

7:13 – Bert and Ernie, who were 40-something involuntarily celibate Muppets who lived together and slept in the same room were still more cool than Dan + Shay.

7:11 – Are you kidding me? The extremely mild Dan + Shay wins Song of the Year for “Tequila.” Has there ever been a more mild Song of the Year?

7:10 – You mean Lady Antebellum is still a thing?

7:09 – Oh hell, Luke Bryan is dressed like a box of Valentines chocolates.

7:08 – This Reba McEntire monologue is pretty cornpone, but not bad.

7:07 – Reba take two swipes at the lack of women in country during her monologue, including saying the recent snow in Vegas froze the women out of the Entertainer of the Year nominations.

7:06 – “I’m Reba McEntire and I haven’t been tired in 53 years!”

7:05 – Save us Reba!

7:03 – After this performance, at least we can use the absurdly big chains on Jason Aldean’s wallet to try and pull country music out of the ditch.

7:02 – Tyler Hubbard looks like the 5th of July threw up on him.

7:01 – Florida Georgia Line’s “Can’t Hide Red” reminds me of an old saying my uncle always says that seems to apply to this moment, “Can’t Fix Stupid.”

7:01 – Oh shit, of course they have to start off with Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line. I guess get it out of the way.

7:00 – And here we go!

6:50 – Some more early winners:

  • Chris Janson wins Video of the Year for “Drunk Girl.”
  • Old Dominion wins for Group of the Year

Video of the Year for Chris Janson is much deserved. It really should have been a candidate for Song of the Year at both the CMAs and ACMs, but it’s good to see a solid effort recognized nonetheless.

Really felt that with the year Midland had, they would have been a better pick, and the only actual country music pick for Group of the Year. Does Old Dominion really hold that much sway over people? If they’re handing out their award before the telecast, that kind of answers the question. NOt a lot of strong groups in mainstream country at the moment.

6:48 – Late breaking performance news: It sounds like Amanda Shires will be performing with Luke Combs, likely in his band on fiddle.

6:45 – Some Awards Have Already Been Handed Out:

  • New Male Vocalist of the Year – Luke Combs
  • New Female Vocalist of the Year – Ashley McBryde
  • New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year – Lanco
  • Music Event of the Year – “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne
  • Songwriter of the Year – Shane McAnally
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