Carrie Underwood returns to stage at music awards

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Aldean, who was performing at the festival when the gunman started shooting, spoke first. "To my Route 91 people, you guys are in our hearts always and we love Las Vegas".

The country music community, returning to Vegas on Sunday six months after the shooting, opened the show in memory of the victims.

"With respect and love for the victims, our friends, family and fans, we celebrate the music tonight", added Aldean.

"We thought about starting with a song, but it's a lot bigger than a single song".

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"Tonight we wanted to open the show with something that sums up what it's like for our country music family to be back in Las Vegas for the first time since October 1st", Aldean said. Lambert told the audience that the show would unite people "through the healing power of music".

The country crooner didn't attend the show because he and wife Morgane welcomed twin boys on Sunday night!

Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard wore an all-red ensemble and Brian Kelley was in all-white when they hit the stage with pop singer Bebe Rexha to perform the massive hit "Meant to Be", which is spending its 19th week on top of Billboard's Hot country songs chart. The two country icons teamed up this year to perform Keith's famous 1993 song "Should've Been a Cowboy" and the result was good ole country singing, and a few laughs.

Moments later, she joined Keith Urban to accept vocal event of the year award for their duet "The Fighter".

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Country music is making a major return to Las Vegas with the 2018 ACM Awards, six months after a lone gunman killed 58 people at a country music festival in the deadliest mass shooting in modern USA history.

She didn't get the Female Vocalist prize - that went to Miranda Lambert, who moved into the lead (over Brooks and Dunn) as the all-time victor of ACM awards.

For one, how to get into it. Security did a tremendous job to get a capacity crowd through the magnetometers even though doors did not open until an hour before the 5 p.m. broadcast and everyone needed to be in their seats at the MGM Grand Garden Arena before the show began.

The telecast of the awards ceremony was also a big first to Carrie Underwood who suffered from a nasty fall accident at her home past year. Underwood dished that, "I joined one of their writing sessions past year to see if we could come up with some magic ... and we did!" She followed it up with her ninth win for Female Vocalist of the Year to bring her total to 32. Chris Stapleton also won two awards: Album and Male Vocalist of the Year.

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