NEW YORK, May 2, (Agencies): The American Country Countdown Awards returned in 2016, and relied on big name stars performing their most recent hits.
It was a night of big performances and top stars at the American Country Countdown Awards in Los Angeles. Album of the Year was awarded to Chris Stapleton for “Traveller.”
Many of the big winners throughout the night, like Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Brooks & Dunn, thanked God during their acceptance speeches.
The show kicked off with a performance by Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles and Cam that had the crowd singing along. McBride also performed toward the end of the show.
The first award of the night, Male Vocalist of the Year, was announced by Underwood and was awarded to Bryan. Bryan performed immediately after his win was announced to the cheering crowd of country music greats, which included stars like Reba McEntire and Toby Keith.
“It’s hard to do a speech after that,” Bryan said as he thanked the crowd out-of-breath following his song. “I want to thank the good Lord above… We love you! Thank you country radio.”
Group Duo of the Year was awarded to Florida Georgia Line, and they performed next.
Newcomer Cam then took the stage, followed by Cole Swindell. Chris Janson then had the crowd singing along to his hit “Buy Me A Boat.”
The show took a moment to remember Prince, who died on April 21st at the age of 57. The crowd wore purple glow bands to light the room in purple in honor of the pop star.
Following is the list of winners in the 12 categories for the 2016 American Country Countdown Awards:
* Artist of the Year: Luke Bryan
* Male Vocalist of the Year: Luke Bryan
* Female Vocalist of the Year: Carrie Underwood
* Group/Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
* Breakthrough Male of the Year: Sam Hunt
* Breakthrough Female of the Year: Kelsea Ballerini
* Breakthrough Group/Duo of the Year: Old Dominion
* Song of the Year: “Die A Happy Man” — Thomas Rhett
* Album of the Year: “Traveller” — Chris Stapleton
* Digital Song of the Year: “Girl Crush” — Little Big Town
* Digital Album of the Year: “Montevallo” — Sam Hunt
Wind, rain and a lightning strike beside the stage where Bonnie Raitt was singing didn’t stop the soggy last day of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival from rollicking to a close.
Lightning hit the scaffolding for a giant TV screen showing fans the close-ups of Raitt and the band performing “Keep Your Mouth Shut.”
People nearby jumped backward at the bright flash at the screen’s top outer corner. Then came a thunderclap, sounding like a brief explosion. Raitt kept singing and her band played on. A day earlier, thunderstorms had canceled the headliners’ performances.
“I’m still wondering why the facilities manager hasn’t pulled them off,” said Christy Gross of New Orleans shortly after the lightning strike. “If that was my band, they would be in the trailer now.”
As the festival wound down, a standing-room-only jammed the Blues Tent to hear Arlo Guthrie, who’s on an “Alice’s Restaurant” 50th anniversary tour. Some members of the audience were old enough to have heard its first performance; others appeared to be in their 20s. They all sang heartily along to the chorus of “Alice’s Restaurant” and of “This Land is Your Land,” written by Guthrie’s father, folksinger Woodie Guthrie.
Outside, the rain had lightened but winds gusted hard enough to turn umbrellas inside-out. Neither wind nor rain nor heavy rubber boots could keep Margo Carey of Bethany Beach, Delaware, and Joe Robert of Baton Rouge from dancing to Rockin’ Dopsie Jr and his Zydeco Twisters.
Earlier, thousands of umbrellas bobbed as their owners listened or danced in the mud to a 70-minute tribute to the late Allen Toussaint.
Leslie Goldberg, a Chicagoan living in New Orleans, swayed to strains played by Dr John as a light rain fell earlier on what was the closing stretch of the seven-day celebration of food, art, crafts and music, of course.