ARLINGTON - U.S. Highway 69 laid claim to two of the biggest names to stroll the red carpet at the Academy of Country Music awards fest at AT&T Stadium.
Miranda Lambert grew up in Lindale. Kacey Musgraves grew up in Golden, just a sweet 'tater away from Mineola, 12 miles north of Lambert's hometown on Highway 69.
Both grew up performing in the Select Theatre in Mineola, only to find themselves in very select company Sunday night.
Neither seemed eager to confront the hundreds of media types gathered to greet them, longing for a quote. They shared the walk with dozens of other big names, including Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, country music luminaries Jason Aldean, Brooks & Dunn, Clint Black, Keith Urban (no Nicole Kidman!) and actresses Sofía Vergara and Reese Witherspoon.
They shared the space with just as many aggressive public-relations people, trying to land a wee bit of buzz for aspiring acts who hope to one day to enter the neon-bright stratosphere of Musgraves and Lambert.
The red carpet welcomed a silver-and-blue Who's Who of Cowboys dignitaries: team owner Jerry Jones, tight end Jason Witten, quarterback Tony Romo and Hall of Fame alumnus Troy Aikman. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders opened the red carpet portion, and even Dr. Phil McGraw showed up on the VIP-laden carpet, looking appropriately analytical.
Darius Rucker strolled the carpet before presenting an award and performing with Brad Paisley. "This is awesome!" he said, before sharing a selfie with a pair of SMU students.