Behind the Scenes at the 2014 ACM Awards

Justin Moore, Miranda Lambert and Lee Brice Describe Their Wins

LAS VEGAS — The 49th annual ACM Awards took Las Vegas by storm Sunday night (April 6), and the stars had plenty to talk about backstage. CMT Hot 20 Countdown ‘s Katie Cook was there to capture all the behind-the-scenes activity.

“Congratulations! ACM-award winner, it is official!” she said to Justin Moore, who had just accepted his first-ever ACM trophy. “OK, this shows how hard you have to work in this business — the fact that you actually have been around for a while, working your butt off for years and are just now winning new artist. Well deserved. Are you feeling that way?”

“In no way being boastful, I feel like we deserved it as much as anybody else because I know how hard myself and my team have worked in the last six years,” Moore replied. “And, I got a little emotional, you know? We’ve been at this a while — and we’ve had a lot of success, thanks to country radio and you guys in the industry, all the fans. But there were just some people out there who don’t understand where we are and who we are, and I hope tonight they understand that.”

Following her wins and several performances, Miranda Lambert spoke with Cook, too.

“This has been a really huge night for you,” Cook said. “Three wins and your fifth female [vocalist of the year award] in a row. I mean, you’re record-breaking at this point.”

“Yeah, I can’t believe it,” Lambert admitted. “You know, you don’t think about that. I’ll probably get home and, like a week later, I’ll be texting my manager, ‘I broke a record? What happened?’

“I love where I am … I’m here, I’ve planted my feet. I’m like, ‘Girls come on! I’m holding the door open for y’all!’ Because the few of us that are on radio and that are kicking butt, I want to keep this spot for us. I love it when women are champions for other women.”

During the awards show, Lee Brice shared song of the year honors with Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary, who wrote his hit single “I Drive Your Truck.”

Brice agreed that finding and recording the song was a significant moment in his career.

“It is a career song because it means something,” he said. “You can’t replace a song’s meaning. You can have songs that maybe sell more records or whatever, but that song changed more hearts than probably any song that I can foresee me finding because it’s a gem. It’s a one-in-a-million diamond.”

For more from the 49th annual ACM Awards, tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (April 12-13) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.