Dauphin, Canada



Chris Stapleton won album of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards last night and as host Reba McEntire put it, it was his second biggest news of the night. Stapleton's wife, Morgane, gave birth to twins. McEntire broke the news when Stapleton's name was read and said ``those little rascals came a bit early.'' It was also Stapleton's 40th birthday. Stapleton won male vocalist of the year as well.



Jason Aldean opened the Academy of Country Music Awards last night with a spoken-word tribute to the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shootings in October. Aldean says they considered starting with a song, but ``it's a lot bigger than a single song.'' He was joined by Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett, urging fans to turn to music to inspire and to soothe. Aldean won entertainer of the year and said the victims are in his heart. He admits it was a rough year and says everyone who has shown love and support over the last six months ``meant the world to us.'' The A-C-Ms were the first major country music event in Las Vegas since the shootings.



Carrie Underwood has finally shown her face in public after her accident late last year and it's...exactly how you remember it. Underwood performed ``Cry Pretty'' during last night's Academy of Country Music Awards. Underwood fell outside her home in November, breaking her wrist and requiring at least 40 stitches on her face. She had told fans at the time she might look ``different,'' which caused much speculation about how bad her injuries were. Last night's performance was her first public appearance since the accident. The only thing that appeared out of the ordinary was that she wore smeared glitter mascara as part of the ``Cry Pretty'' theme. She won the vocal event of the year award with Keith Urban for ``The Fighter.''



Miranda Lambert is the new champ of the Academy of Country Music Awards. She won song of the year for ``Tin Man'' and female vocalist of the year, bringing her total of A-C-M Awards to 31. Lambert had been tied with Brooks and Dunn at 29. Lambert has won the female vocalist award nine straight years. Upon winning song of the year, Lambert said, ``Thank you guys so much for sharing my broken heart with me.''



Reba McEntire really got into reliving 1993 at the Academy of Country Music Awards last night. She even wore a particularly famous dress from that year. McEntire sang a duet of her 1993 hit ``Does He Love You'' with Kelly Clarkson wearing the same red dress she wore to the Country Music Association Awards in 1993. It caused a stir at the time because McEntire didn't usually wear such revealing clothes.



 Here are the winners of the Academy of Country Music Awards from last night in Las Vegas:

_ Entertainer of the year: Jason Aldean

_ Album of the year: Chris Stapleton, ``From A Room: Volume 1''

_ Single record of the year: Sam Hunt, ``Body Like A Back Road''

_ Song of the year: ``Tin Man,'' Miranda Lambert

_ Male vocalist of the year: Chris Stapleton

_ Female vocalist of the year: Miranda Lambert

_ Vocal Duo: Brothers Osborne

_ Vocal group of the year: Old Dominion

_ Vocal event of the year: Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood, ``The Fighter''

_ New female vocalist of the year: Lauren Alaina

_ New male vocalist of the year: Brett Young

_ New vocal duo or group of the year: Midland



 When plans fell through to find the right person to induct Dire Straits into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, bassist John Illsley asked if he could do it. Illsley says he wrote his speech in 15 minutes and had to read it because he didn't have time to memorize it. Frontman Mark Knopfler and guitarist David Knopfler did not attend. Illsley says the other members of the band agreed to ``come here and represent the band and just basically get on with it, really.'' Illsley and keyboard player Guy Fletcher say they would have loved to have performed at their induction, but they did not.



Guitarist Richie Sambora says it ``feels like old times'' playing with Bon Jovi again as they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday. Sambora says it was never awkward. He points out, ``Let's face it, I wrote those songs too, you know.'' He says he was in the band for 31 years and ``that's a good run.'' Former bassist Alec John Such was welcomed back to the band for his induction after leaving in 1994. Singer Jon Bon Jovi's acceptance speech went on for 20 minutes and at one point he said, ``Time is the most precious commodity we have.'' Bon Jovi says he's been writing the speech for years and sometimes it was a ``thank you'' speech and sometimes it was a kiss-off speech.

Saturday was also ``Bon Jovi Day'' in New Jersey, as declared by Gov. Phil Murphy.



Graeme Edge of The Moody Blues admits he had sour grapes over being passed over for so long for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He says he kept saying he didn't want to be inducted anyway, and it took three or four months for him to admit it actually is quite a big deal. Guitarist Justin Hayward says their induction is slightly different than the other bands inducted Saturday because they're English and there are so few English bands.

He says they're especially proud to join the small group of English musicians who are part of the Rock Hall.



Nina Simone's brother brought as much fire to her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as if she had been there herself. Sam Waymon says he was told he had three minutes to speak, but he said, ``No, I don't. I'm going to take the time necessary to say what I got to say.'' He urged, ``To all the brothers out there, protect your sisters.'' He says he always protected Simone and he still does. He says if anyone is sampling her music, ``You better pay for it!'' Mary J. Blige inducted Simone, calling her ``bold, strong, feisty and fearless.'' Andra Day sang in Simone's honour, as did Lauryn Hill, who sang in French.



Ric Ocasek gave some trivia about The Cars as they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday: Ben Orr was supposed to be the singer and Ocasek was supposed to be the good-looking one. Keyboardist Greg Hawkes says without Orr's innate talent and rock-star good looks, it's unlikely The Cars would have made it to the Rock Hall. Guitarist Elliot Easton says he remembers seeing Elvis Presley on T-V when he was three-years-old and asked his mom to comb his hair the same way.

Easton says going from playing his Mickey Mouse guitar that day to being inducted into the Rock Hall was a ``long crazy twisted river.''


(The Canadian Press)