The 51st Academy of Country Music Awards, broadcast Sunday, April 3, on CBS, live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, provided no shortage of live music. The night boasted 23 performances, from Luke Bryan's latest, "Huntin', Fishin' & Lovin' Every Day," at the top of the show, to Chris Stapleton's closer, "Fire Away."
The three-hour event (often referred to, happily, as a three-hour commercial for country music by Nashville industry executives) provided a sales jolt for many of the night's winners and/or performers. Total sales for country albums in the week ending April 7 rose to 507,000, according to Nielsen Music, as compared to 406,000 sold in the prior week (ending March 31).
Here's an artist-by-artist breakdown of some of the night's top stars and their resulting country chart action.
The biggest winner of the evening took home trophies for male vocalist, new male vocalist, album (Traveller) and song of the year ("Nobody to Blame"). Traveller vaults by 149 percent to 59,000 sold and rules Top Country Albums for a 17th week.
Stapleton has been riding a wave propelled by country's two major award shows, kicked off by his multiple CMAs wins and duet performance that night with Justin Timberlake and now with four ACM honors to his credit. Following the CMA festivities, Traveller re-entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1 and spent two weeks at the summit. To date, Traveller has sold 1.2 million copies.
The ACM's coveted entertainer of the year honor went to Jason Aldean, who finally took home the trophy after being nominated in the category four times previously (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015). The first hour of the show closed with Aldean's performance of new country-rocker "Lights Come On," the first single from his seventh studio album that's due this summer. The track launches at No. 1 on Country Digital songs with 70,000 sold and rockets 43–7 on Hot Country Songs, becoming his 24th top 10.
TIm McGraw's latest, "Humble and Kind," crowns Hot Country Songs climbing 4–1 to become his 26th leader after he crooned the ballad on the ACMs. His performance was complete with a string section and a walk-on role from a crowd of people from several walks of life, emulating the uplifting feel of the recording.
Sparked by the performance, "Humble" hikes by 69 percent to 64,000 downloads sold; it slips 1–2 on Country Digital Songs, however, as Aldean's new single starts on top of the tally. "Humble" also hits the Country Streaming Songs top 10 (13–7) with a 26 percent burst to 2.1 million U.S. streams.
If there were an award presentation for highest heels, Carrie Underwood would have easily won Sunday night, as she strutted through a spirited performance of "Church Bells," the new single from her former Top Country Albums chart-topping Storyteller. The set increases by 98 percent to 10,000 and rises 6–3 on the chart. The LP has sold 554,000 units to date. Meanwhile, sales of "Bells" exploded by 1,248 percent to 15,000 and the track opens at No. 26 on Country Digital Songs.
The 2015 ACM entertainer of the year, who co-hosted this year's show with Dierks Bentley, performed his new single, "Huntin', Fishin' & Lovin' Every Day." The track debuts on Country Streaming Songs at No. 15, surging by 121 percent to 1.8 million domestic clicks. It jumps 21-14 on Hot Country Songs and vaults 29-12 on Country Digital Songs (25,000, up 125 percent).
After performing "Peter Pan," with Nick Jonas on guitar, on the ACMs, her new single flies 41–28 on Hot Country Songs. It gains by 369 percent to 19,000 sold, debuting at No. 19 on Country Digital Songs, and by 94 percent to 740,000 U.S. streams.
Blake Shelton gave the second performance of the night with "Came Here to Forget" -- the lead single from his upcoming album, If I'm Honest -- to find the single jumping 6–5 on Hot Country Songs. It climbs 5–3 on Country Digital Songs (44,000, up 35 percent) and 4–3 on Country Streaming Songs (2.5 million, up 18 percent).