George Strait is this year’s Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year.
"I've always said I have the best fans in the world," Strait said.
Strait last won the prize 25 years ago. He’s in the final months of his farewell tour.
Miranda Lambert took home her fifth straight female vocalist award and top song honors.
And Jason Aldean repeated as favorite male.
This year’s show had something for everybody…from crossover artists to traditional country stars, and a few surprises!
Country met rock-n-roll when Pop star Shakira performed a duet with Blake Shelton.
And Lady Antebellum teamed up with Stevie Nicks.
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Vocal group winners “The Band Perry” kicked off the party …with their hit “Chainsaw” under a shower of confetti.
"There's $20 million in hairdos down here and it all has confetti in it…This is not a Head & Shoulders" commercial everybody,” Bryan quipped.
And country legend Merle Haggard celebrated his 77th birthday with a special honor for his 5-decade career.
"Country music’s been great to me all my life and it's been great to me tonight," Haggard says.
Co-hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan kept the night moving with humor, and even posed for a selfie, as country music honored its biggest stars.
The show was so big…it took up two venues on the Vegas Strip. The main telecast came from the MGM Grand…and more performers took the stage down the street at the Mandalay Bay. Next year’s show - the golden anniversary edition - will take place at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium.
(Suzanne Marques for CBS News)
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