That's a wrap! Check out our moment-by-moment recap from a seat inside AT&T Stadium for the 50th anniversary of the Academy of Country Music Awards.
10:30 p.m.: Show co-host Luke Bryan took home the Entertainer of the Year honors, closing out the show with a rush of thank-yous and a big hug for co-host Blake Shelton. Jason Aldean won for male vocalist.
10:25 p.m.: In addition to Miranda's wins and huge applause for former Dallas Cowoys, Texas has dominated the conversation here tonight. Every time anyone mentions or sings about George Strait, the crowd goes wild. And when the great Brooks and Dunn just did their hit version of late Dallas troubadour BW Stevenson's "My Maria," the crowd came to life and sang the chorus loudly. We'll see next if Miranda takes entertainer of the year and puts the Lone Star love over the top.
10:10 p.m.: Alan Jackson repurposed his 9-11 tribute song "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning" to mark the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, earning a standing ovation. He'd been introduced by Troy Aikman, who received a rousing reception of his own. That was the case for all the Cowboys-affiliated presenters tonight, Tony Romo and Jason Witten included.
9:55 p.m.: The award for least country moment of the evening goes to Dan and Shay and Nick Jonas, whose performance of "Jealous" and "Chains" sounded fine but contained not a trace of the genre this awards show is celebrating. The screams were abundant for Jonas, however, who has a history of driving teen girls crazy with his brothers in this venue.
9:40 p.m.: Even though Kenny Chesney looked like he'd just left the beach (or a tanning salon), he brought some gravitas to the stage with his well sung rendition of "Wild Child." The ACM anniversary show gave fans glimpses of the biggest stadium-level superstars of the last few decades. Chesney, Aldean, Swift, Strait, Brooks, Reba -- an unprecedented lineup. The vibe in the stands, though, is pretty low key when there's not a performer in front of them. It's the brutal reality of commercial-break downtime.
9:10 p.m.: Rascal Flatts and Christina Aguilera sounded powerful together doing her single "Shotgun" which she recorded recently for her stint guest starring on Nashville. Neither she nor Gary LeVox went too crazy with the vocal runs -- they kept it simple and tasteful. Can Xtina cross over to country completely? Probably. With the constant blending of genres these days, it'd be nothing out of the ordinary.
8:50 p.m.: I'd imagine there were many tears in the crowd when Taylor Swift's mother Andrea Finlay presented her with the Milestone Award. Swift announced recently that her mom has been diagnosed with cancer. But Finlay's eloquent comments on stage were all about her daughter's musical rise. And Swift thanked the country establishment for accepting and being kind about her move into pop. I like the level of honesty and self awareness there. Other pop artists still unabashedly chasing country radio could learn from that.
8:40 p.m.: I heard female voices all around me singing along to Little Big Town's endlessly clever love tune, "Girl Crush," a song some boneheaded radio stations have pulled from playlists recently. LBT also performed in front of the largest disco ball I've ever seen, but that's neither here nor there.
8:30 p.m.: Reba easily overcame the stadium sound issues during a breakneck medley of hits including, naturally, "Fancy." I also think she's got a winner with the new single "Going Out Like That," which ended her mini set. People knew the words and were singing along. It's increasingly rare for legacy country acts to get as much airplay as their younger counterparts, but this tune might prove an exception. Her daughter-in-law and the pride of Burleson Kelly Clarkson presented the milestone award to Reba after the performance -- their sparkly dresses were complementary enough that we wondered if they'd planned it.
8:25 p.m.: I was actually relieved when Jason Aldean slid down that scary looking slide and launched into "My Kinda Party". It ignited the audience, which had seemed somewhat meh about the first tune he'd done from atop the aforementioned slide. At the end of his medley, during "She's Country," real fireworks went off behind the stage. I felt a little heat.
8:05 p.m.: Miranda Lambert did one of her best tunes, "Mama's Broken Heart" in mostly red and black to match the rest of her set. Then she moved into the even sassier "Little Red Wagon." Lots of fun, but it would be nice to hear her showcase those powerful pipes on one of her slower and more tender tunes. But you know what they say about beggars. At least I could hear her vocals. Earlier Martina McBride's voice was a little drowned out during what should have been a show stopping rendition of Independence Day.
7:50 p.m.: Dierks Bentley sounded strong and clear in the house on "Riser," and all the wristbands in the place lit up in blue and red. I did keep catching myself looking away from the human being on stage to see the closeups on the monster Jerryworld screen. Kinda defeats the purpose of dressing up and showing up.
7:40 p.m.: Still on a long road to recovery from a 2013 stroke, country legend Randy Travis received a hero's welcome when he was acknowledged by Lee Brice for all his past ACM wins. When he waved to the crowd from his seat, his expression told us he was both overwhelmed by the love and overjoyed to be here. What followed was the song of the year award which went to Miranda Lambert's Automatic. Lambert was nice enough to hand the mic to cowriter Natalie Hemby, a respected Nashville vet who certainly deserves the recognition.
Early performances brought attention to the not so great acoustics of AT&T stadium. We could barely hear the vocals of Florida Georgia Line from our seat to the left of the big stages. Not that we were complaining much about that.
7:30 p.m.: What better treat for the folks at Jerryworld than to have George Strait take the stage so early in the ACM show? When Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton introduced him, the place went wild and every fan sprung to his or her feet.
For those not lucky enough to attend Strait's historic final show right here last year, the singalong rendition of "All My Ex's" made it all OK. And then he segued into the laid back new single "Let It Go" before receiving his milestone award. Maybe this experience gave old George the touring bug again. We can all hope.
The crowd was already hyped up after an opening performance from Keith Urban and Eric Church, who utilized both stages while covering "Pledge Allegiance to the Hag" and then doing thier current duet "Raise Em Up." It really does feel like your typical stadium show in here. The excitement is tangible, even if the preshow announcer had us practice cheering a couple of times. Can't ever prepare too much when a major network is involved.