Lainey Wilson Shines at 2024 Country Music Awards, Claiming Entertainer of the Year

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In a dazzling tribute to the magic of country music, Lainey Wilson sparkled as the undoubted star of the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards. An evening suffused with an extraordinary range of talent, it was Wilson who unquestionably dazzled the brightest. The female country gem nabbed the coveted prize of Entertainer of the Year. More than a personal triumph, this triumph underscored a heart-stirring story of perseverance as Wilson dedicated her considerable achievements to Nashville, where she had been honing her artistry for 13 years.

The fanfare and applause engulfing the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, was, indeed, testament to the respect and admiration Wilson has garnered across her career. Yet, Wilson’s gratitude was boundless, as she extended heartfelt thanks for the support and love she had received over the years.

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Highlighting the rarity and exceptional import of her win, she now finds herself in the elite and exclusive company of few women to have won the crowning prize. The last triumphant femme, Miranda Lambert, seized the award in 2022. Interestingly, two years earlier, 2020 saw a historic first as the category witnessed a tie between Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett. This was also the first time a woman had won the category since the iconic Taylor Swift in 2012.

Opening the 59th annual ACMs, Wilson’s rendition of Little Texas’ “God Blessed Texas,” effortlessly segued into her new single, “Hang Tight Honey”. The night continued to celebrate more talents: Jordan Davis, whose “Next Thing You Know,” a powerful country radio hit, was celebrated as the song of the year, and Chris Stapleton, who scooped up both Album and Male Artist of the Year.

However, it wasn’t just the awards that kept the audience on edge. The stage lit up in anticipation as Jason Aldean’s acoustic performance of Toby Keith’s classic “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” reverberated around the auditorium. In a touching tribute to Keith who passed away aged 62 following a stomach cancer diagnosis, Aldean had the audience echoing the song, word for word, as Keith’s family watched from the crowd.

The evening was sprinkled with unexpected delights: Dua Lipa joined Chris Stapleton on stage for his latest “Think I’m in Love with You,” and Post Malone unveiled a new song, “Never Love You Again,”. The evening wasn’t without its emotional moments — Post Malone and Reba McEntire echoed their tribute to the late Dickey Betts with a duet of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Ramblin’ Man.”

Luke Combs, who led the pack of nominees with eight nods, snagged the single of the year for his rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” In a nod to progress and inclusivity, this win also marked the first triumph for a Black songwriter in this category at the Country Music Awards, previously achieved by Chapman’s 1988 song.

The night came to a memorable close with the host, Reba McEntire, serenading the crowd with her new single, “I Can’t.” The ACM Awards, with its eclectic blend of styles and voices, demonstrated on a grand stage that the heart of country music continues to beat strong.

This eventful celebration of all things country was livestreamed on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch Live, allowing fans near and far to be a part of this incredible homage to an ever-evolving genre.