2009 Academy of Country Music Awards
Country's biggest stars headed to Sin City for the 44th annual Academy of Country Music awards, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Before beating out Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney and George Strait to take home the Entertainer of the Year award, Carrie Underwood wore a Rafael Cennamo dress-which she described as "kind of like water, maybe? Like red water? That sounds scary, doesn't it? Maybe like lava. It's like lava. Or icing. Red icing"-to perform her country hit, "I Told You So."
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
Nominee Keith Urban was accompanied by his leading lady, Nicole Kidman, who made a lasting impression in a backless sequined gown by designer L'Wren Scott. "She travels well because we realize that I got a tour bus and when she's filming she's got a trailer. They're both very similar environments," Urban recently told a Knoxville television station of his wife's willingness to live the life of a country star's wife.
Before taking the stage to perform alongside Brooks and Dunn, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts during the high-energy opening number, Taylor Swift took a dramatic walk down the red carpet in a crimson one-shoulder Angel Sanchez gown, VBH clutch and Neil Lane jewels.
Just days after celebrating the premiere of her first Hollywood movie, Miley Cyrus made her debut appearance at the Academy of Country Music awards. The Hannah Montana star, who was escorted down the red carpet by father Billy Ray, looked all grown up in a figure-flattering column gown by Monique Lhuillier.
"It's a good thing my dress ripped-now I have something else to think about," exclaimed Julianne Hough, who experienced a wardrobe malfunction as she made her way onstage to accept the award for top new artist. Despite the snag, the Dancing with the Stars regular still dazzled in her beaded Zuhair Murad gown.
After treating Vegas' country music fans to a free outdoor concert at the Fremont Street Experience on Saturday night, LeAnn Rimes showed off her gams in a little black dress and Jimmy Choo sandals. "Making a difference in other people's lives brings me a lot of joy," said Rimes, when she was presented with the 2009 Home Depot Humanitarian Award for her record of community service and charitable giving to organizations like the Children's Miracle Network. "I do it out of the goodness of my heart never thinking that I’m going to be honored for it."
Camilla Alves and Matthew McConaughey
While Texas native Matthew McConaughey-who will serve as a presenter during the ceremony-kept his ACM Awards ensemble casual, his girlfriend, model Camilla Alves, showed some skin in a curve-hugging white minidress.
Kellie Pickler dubbed her glitzy Zuhair Murad mermaid gown, "my favorite dress I've ever worn!" The singer accessorized with YSL platforms, a Daniel Swarovski clutch, Tito Pedrini earrings and a Lucifer vir Honestus citrine ring.
Though nominee Miranda Lambert didn't take home any trophies, the singer gave fans a thrill when she debuted her latest single, "Dead Flowers." "We've only played it three times, live, so I'm nervous," Lambert told The Tenessean during a rehearsal before the big show. "But I trust this band, and if I screw up they'll follow me."
Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles
After performing the hit "What I'd Give" for the ACM crowd, Sugarland songstress Jennifer Nettles-who walked the red carpet with bandmate Kristian Bush-was awarded a special Crystal Milestone Award for being the first woman to receive solo songwriter accolades on a Song of the Year since 1972. "Live your dreams," Nettles said when she accepted the trophy.
"Toby Keith is very serious about who introduces him. For example, before he asked me to present, he asked to see all the outtakes from my Victoria's Secret photo shoots," joked VS Angel Marisa Miller (in Dolce & Gabbana) before calling Keith to the stage. "I guess I passed."
Jennifer Love Hewitt & Jamie Kennedy
"I'm a huge fan of country music and all the artists being honored tonight," said Jennifer Love Hewitt (in Robert Rodriguez), who brought along Ghost Whisperer co-star and real-life leading man Jamie Kennedy for her gig as presenter of the Song of the Year award. "In other words, there's no place I'd rather be than Vegas right now at country’s music party of the year."
Actress Kaley Cuoco took some time off from filming her small screen hit, The Big Bang Theory, to present the award for top vocal duo to Sugarland. Jaime Foxx and illusionist David Copperfield were among the other celebrity country fans who took a turn at the microphone during the ceremony.