You saw the glitter, the glamour, and the great performances during the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards last night on CBS. But, backstage in the press room, there was a lot you didn’t see. Here’s ten things that didn’t hit the airwaves.
All Things ACMs
MIRANDA TALKS LONG-DISTANCE: After her three wins on the evening, Miranda Lambert shot down husband Blake Shelton’s claim that he had saw her naked that morning. “No, how can you see someone naked on ACM day? There’s no time for that,” she said with a smile. On the other end of the Shelton emotional spectrum, she admitted to being surprised at his words of praise for her during their acceptance speech for Song of the Year. “I was shocked by the really nice things he said …He’ s never actually told me that. I didn’t have anything to follow that up with.” She said though the superstar couple doesn’t get to spend as much time together as they would like, it’s not going to always be like that. “It’s not easy all the time being on opposite ends of the country, but being able to celebrate moments like this – as well as going through the hard times together (makes it worth it). When all this is over and done, we’ll be sitting together drinking a beer, talking about the good old days.”
HUMBLE LUKE: Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan was still emotional in the media room, as he reflected on his fans – who voted for him in the category. “When you think about it, and being the first nomination, to win with the fans bestowing it on you, the appreciation is at a whole other level. When I close my eyes, I will say my prayers for being blessed by God, but I will also thank my fans. It’s unlike anything I have ever experienced.” Family was also on his mind, as he reflected on his losing a brother and a sister. “Our family has dealt with a lot, and they’re smiling down on me tonight.”
TEARS FOR HER FATHER: Vocal Duo of the Year winners Thompson Square had one of the most emotional acceptance speeches of the evening. But, backstage, it grew even more so as Shawna Thompson mentioned the passing of her father, George Michael “Mickey” Mcllwain, in February 2012. Growing understandably misty-eyed, she relayed that she wanted to make mention of her mother on the telecast. “She’s having a really rough time right now,” she said.
STEVIE + HUNTER: All-around icon Stevie Wonder said that he has been noticing Hunter Hayes since he burst upon the scene – and for good reason. “He is such a blessing because he has listened to all kinds of music, and does it well.” Wonder also said he was personally affected by “his pureness inside his heart. I see God working in him.” The artist said that he listened to a good deal of country music, and also cited bluegrass. Last night was not the last time the two would perform together, as they are going into the studio soon. Wonder is also cutting a project with David Foster, as well as a Gospel album.
HAYES THE COLLABORATOR: As for Hunter Hayes, he loves combining his talents with other acts.”I love collaborating,” he says. He will soon be issuing a deluxe version of his debut disc that will feature other acts and musicians (He sang and played everything on the original). “On the deluxe edition, we have Jason Mraz and Ashley Monroe,” he said. How did the Wonder relationship come up. “I mentioned it to everyone I knew. We met a year ago, and I played him something that was heavily influenced by him.”
ON A BOAT… SONG: A lot of people have wondered about the lyrics to Little Big Town’s smash “Pontoon.” Karen Fairchild told the press that she was surprised about all the attention. “We grew up on pontoons, so we felt every one knew.” She paused a moment and said “But, ‘motor-boating is very universal,” she said slyly.
OUT-CHIEF HIMSELF: Eric Church won Album of the Year for Chief at last fall’s CMA Awards, and he repeated the honor last night. “That’s the only one we win, but it’s one of the most important,” he said. He also was quick to give credit to producer Jay Joyce. “You can’t put a genre on him,” he said. “He does everything.” As far as the eventual follow-up studio album? “I don’t look at it like a thing about what ‘Chief’ did,” he said, but also admitted that “I’m going to put more expectations on it than anyone.”
BROS WILL BE BROS: Jason Aldean was a double winner, and the trophy for Male Vocalist was one that he took a great amount of pride in. “That was one thing I wanted to accomplish for my career, so it’s very cool.” What were his thoughts on former opening act Luke Bryan carrying home the top prize. “I’m happy. He’s one of my best friends. I’ve watched his show come a long way. He’s become a great entertainer. I don’t think there was anyone who was more shocked than him. It was a good night for both of us.” The two shared the Vocal Event of the Year honor with Church.