The stars were out in Nashville Tuesday night, as the 9th annual ACM Honors took place at the historic Ryman Auditorium. A wide range of talent, from the legends including Loretta Lynn and Roy Clark, to current hitmakers Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Miranda Lambert, were all on the scene. The special night, hosted by Jake Owen, honors off-camera winners from the ACM Awards.
Luke Bryan received the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award. He walked the Red Carpet and commented on the purpose of the night: “I’m excited about the behind-the-scenes people who get honored, excited for them to have their moment. Everybody deserves their time in the spotlight.” Luke was hanging out with his heroes along the red carpet: “I kissed Loretta Lynn and Randy Owen tonight, pretty much callin’ it a good night, and I already know I’m winning an award, so it’s a good night.”
Jason Aldean was on hand to honor Alabama, who received the Career Achievement Award: “Well any time we get to do something here at the Ryman, it’s a huge honor for us. Tonight even more so, because I get to play a few songs for my idols. So the cool thing is I get to present those guys with a Lifetime Achievement Award, playing some of their songs at the Ryman, that’s a pretty solid night for me.” Jason performed a medley of Alabama hits: “Tennessee River,” “The Closer You Get,” and “Love In The First Degree.”
The whole evening was hosted for the second year by Jake Owen, who had two reasons to be excited: “I’m excited because I was nervous about last year, for them to invite me back two years in a row. I mean this is a show honoring really cool people, people behind the scenes, so for me to be introducing them, handing awards away, and feeling a part of Nashville. Doing this for a second year assures me that I’m part of Nashville.” He also got to open the show performing a song for Career Achievement winners Alabama: “I’m opening the show, and ‘Feels So Right’ might be my favorite song ever, the way Randy emotes that lyric, how simple the lyric is, it just feels good, it feels so right. With it being a slower tempo song, it might not be the best way to open the song, but you have to stick with what you love, and it just feels like the right thing to do.”
More Red Carpet photos: