Chris Stapleton took home his first-ever ACM Entertainer of the Year award on Thursday evening at the 2023 ACM Awards.
The Kentucky native beat out fellow country superstars Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen.
Trisha Yearwood was on hand to present the highest honor of the night to Stapleton. When she read his name from the stage, the “You Should Probably Leave” singer/songwriter appeared to be stunned.
After kissing his wife, Morgane Stapleton, the country star made his way to the stage as she cheered him on from her seat.
“Well, I’m in shock. Thank you. By any imaginable metric, I don’t deserve this, but thank you,” Stapleton confessed during his acceptance speech. “There’s so many other great people in this category and I get up there and I stand up there and I play music. That’s what I try to do every night. And I write songs and I make records, and I’ve never thought of myself as somebody who would win this award.”
He then shared his gratitude for his fans and his team.
“And so, I’m so grateful to each and every person who works so hard to make us able to do what we do. My wife Morgan, thank you. Folks in management, Red Light Management, Universal, all the guys on the road touring. My band, crew, we have the greatest band and crew in the whole damn world. And that’s the truth.”
In a touching moment, Chris Stapleton then dedicated his award to his five children.
“I’m really at a loss [of what] to say, but I wanna say, my kids sitting at home, they give up a lot of my time and a lot of my wife’s time so we can go do this and this is for them.”
The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards featured performances by Jason Aldean, Jordan Davis, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Dolly Parton, Jelly Roll, Ed Sheeran, HARDY, Keith Urban, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, Bailey Zimmerman and more.
Nine awards were announced during the live broadcast, including Entertainer of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Duo of the Group, Group of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Song of the Year, and Music Event of the Year. Several winners were also announced ahead of the show.
Additionally, “Country Music’s Party Of The Year” featured a star-studded list of collaborations and unforgettable moments. Reigning ACM Female Artist Of The Year Carly Pearce teamed up with Trisha Yearwood to perform a special medley of in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Yearwood winning Female Artist Of The Year.
Meanwhile, Cole Swindell joined forces with Jo Dee Messina to deliver an epic performance of the “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” remix and Ashley McBryde took fans to Lindeville with a performance of “Bonfire At Tina’s.”
Gabby Barrett, BRELAND, Brandy Clark, Jordan Davis, Mickey Guyton, Tyler Hubbard, Dustin Lynch, T.J. Osborne, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, MacKenzie Porter, Dak Prescott, Emmitt Smith, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood served as presenters during the ceremony.
The two-hour awards show streamed live for a global audience across 240+ countries and territories exclusively on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch.
Co-hosted by country music icons Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks, the 2023 ACM Awards broadcasted live from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas at 7/6c.