Jeffrey Remz | November 4, 2015
10:50 p.m. - Chris Stapleton wins Male Vocalist of the Year in another surprise. Quite amazing that he beat out Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Blake Shelton and Kenny Chesney.
"Whew," Stapleton said. "I've having a big party tonight."
"About two years ago, I lost my dad, and I made this record thinking a lot about the music he would liked. He would have liked to seen this," he said looking at the award he held in his left hand.
"This is an unbelievable thing to me, and I'm not going to take it lightly," he said.
He thanked his wife, "She always pushes me to be the best that I can be," he said,while thanking a few other family members, including his mother, sister and brother. "I got to think six people watching me in a bar somewhere...Maybe we'll play some big ones...thank you very much. I don't know what to say."
There wasn't much else to say really. What a night!
10:43 p.m. - Reba and fellow Vegas act Brooks & Dunn are out for Reba's "WhY Haven't I Heard from You" in an uptempo, sharp version with Kix Brooks supplying the backing vocal help. Ronnie Dunn took over on lead vocals with Reba singing harmonies, "Play Something Country," a funky delivery with Brooks on harp. Too bad they didn't have new material to dish out, but that wasn't exactly a surprise.
10:37 p.m. - Miranda Lambert wins Female Vocalist of the Year for the sixth time. "Man I appreciate it. I needed a bright spot this year," said Lambert, an apparent reference to her split with now ex-husband Blake Shelton. She shouted praise to Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton, who performed earlier tonight. Not sure I liked Lambert's pinkish/reddish streaks in her hair.
10:33 p.m. - Dierks Bentley sings that "I'm a fighter" in "Riser," the title track of his latest. Not bad and some good fidle playing, but he also didn't quite hit the high notes all that well.