Dubbed as the Country’s Party of the Year, the 53rd ACM Awards brought country music back to Las Vegas six months after the tragic shooting during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Hosted by Reba McEntirethe show took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last Sunday, April 15. Last Sunday night’s program was, without doubt, dramatic. The grand arena was filled with fun and excitement along with the big stars’ stunning performances and the remarkable presentation of winners. Apart from that, the event also had unforgettable moments that make the event a night to remember for all who took part of it. Here are some of those memorable aspects of the program.

1. A Somber Opening

While the annual show usually starts with a lively opening number, this year’s program was quite solemn. The event commenced with a tribute to the victims of Las Vegas shooting. Leading the homage are five country artists who shared with the crowd some touching words. Such instant has warmed up all the more the atmosphere of the entire venue.

(L-R) Luke Brian, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett (Photo credit: eonline.com)

2. Chris Stapleton’s Exceptional Absence

Double award winner Chris Stapleton wasn’t around during the event. But unlike the Osborne Brothers, Stapleton has a more important reason not to be present on the show. He was attending to his wife Morgane’s impending delivery of their twins at that time. The show’s host McEntire made a quick interruption during the show to announce that Stapleton’s wife has already given birth earlier. Although the now dad-of-twins won two ACM awards, Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year (From a Room Vol. 1), welcoming his sons to the world is worth more than any award he could ever have.

Chris Stapleton/Youtube

3. Carrie Underwood’s Grand Come Back

After suffering from an accident in November last year, Carrie Underwood surprised her fans with a fabulous performance of her new single “Cry Pretty.” It was her first performance after the gruesome accident which she thought might alter a bit her appearance. However, during last Sunday’s performance, the country star looked as gorgeous as before like she did not have any fall at all. Not minding her terrible experience, Underwood displayed her classic unblemished vocal skills which led the audience to give her a standing ovation. She later received her win as Vocal Event of the Year together with Keith Urban for their duet “The Fighter.” Underwood has shown to her followers that she was indeed a fighter having successfully overcome her past misfortune. Likewise, she’s a real winner in life being able to come back strong and perform with a blast on stage.

Carrie Underwood/AOL.com

4. A Family Reunion at the ACM Flashbacks

One of the show’s highlights was a series of performances to honor classic country music hits during a certain year and the artists behind them. Called ACM Flashbacks, this part of the show is the first-ever in ACM Awards. One of the notable performances of this segment was the host McEntire and her daughter-in-law Kelly Clarkson duet. The two performed a 1993 hit of McEntire called “Does He Love You” much to the enjoyment of the audience. Not only did they wow the audience for their amazing duet performance. More importantly, the relatives have displayed in front of million viewers a tight bond that exists between them.

Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire/iHeartRadio

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