(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
I could tell you who all the stars were wearing Sunday (April 7) on the ACM Awards red carpet in Las Vegas. I could tell you they were all so, so honored to be nominated. But, if it’s all right with you, I’ll just stick with the moments that stood out to me, made me smile and had me laughing out loud.
1. David Nail said a prayer — while taking a bath — that Luke Bryan would win entertainer of the year. “Luke is my main man,” he told me. “I’m crossing my fingers, and I said a really long prayer earlier — in the bathtub — that he’d win the big one. And if he does, I think he’ll cry.” (Bryan did win, and he did cry, so tip your hat to the power of prayer.)
2. Jana Kramer wasn’t sharing specific details of her upcoming wedding to Brantley Gilbert, but she did tell me they are working with an awesome wedding planner. “We’re going to have a very nontraditional wedding,” she told me. “Just very country and easygoing and fun.”
3. Eli Young Band frontman Mike Eli was still suffering from his loss after Southwest Airlines damaged his guitar on the way to Las Vegas. “Actually, it wasn’t lost. It was murdered,” he told me of his Paul Reed Smith acoustic guitar (approximate value: $8,000). “When you fly with a guitar, it’s at your own risk. The headstock is broken off, so now it’s worth about $30. But for a musician, it’s not about the money. It’s your guitar, so it’s just sad.”
4. Thomas Rhett was half nervous and half excited to see Jason Aldean perform the song he co-wrote, “1994,” on the ACM Awards. “This is so weird to me. I’ve never written a song [for another artist] that’s even been released as a single, so to watch one be performed on a huge stage like that on a nationally televised show will just feel weird. I’m wondering if, like, Joe [Diffie] is gonna pop out onstage and be like, ‘What’s uppppppp?’” (Diffie never materialized on the awards show.)