Jason Aldean wins entertainer of the year, Blake Shelton crashes ACM Awards

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At the Academy of Country Music Awards, Jason Aldean won the night's biggest award while Blake Shelton managed to crash the show despite losing his hosting gig to Dierks Bentley.

Shelton surprised the show's co-host Luke Bryan by joining him onstage to open the show with a performance of Bryan's "Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day" at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Bentley was waiting backstage to jump into the performance before Shelton took his microphone.

"The Voice" coach followed the collaborative performance with his own emotional rendition of his recent single "Came Here to Forget."

Taking home the biggest award of the night was Jason Aldean who won Entertainer of the Year after being nominated 5 times for the award. He finally won and beat out Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and last year's winner, Luke Bryan.

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"I was just starting to think this one wasn't in the cards for me," Aldean who has released platinum albums and sold-out stadiums around the country. "This is one of the best nights of my professional career."

Bryan showed his excitement by picking up and hugging Aldean onstage.

Earlier in the show, Eric Church paid tribute to rock icons like David Bowie, The Eagles' Glenn Frey and other late stars during his performance.

Church intertwined songs from the singers during his performance Sunday, as well as songs from late performers Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead and former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland.

Tim McGraw's performance was also a highlight: As he sang "Humble & Kind," a diverse group of people joined him onstage, from children to adults of every race. Some even dressed in clothes representing their backgrounds, and others wore clothes representing their occupation.

Other performers included Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Little Big Town with Trombone Shorty, Kelsea Ballerini, who singer with pop singer Nick Jonas. Katy Perry sang a memorable duet with legend Dolly Parton.

Parton and Perry performed "Jolene" and "Coat of Many Colors." Perry wore a bright pink and yellow country-flavored get-up, and Parton sported a 2016 sparkly version of the famous coat she said "represents a very special time in my life." She took home the Tex Ritter Award — for films that honor country music — for last year's NBC TV-movie about her childhood, "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors."

Carrie Underwood earned a loud applause after singing "Church Bells." She was nominated for female vocalist of the year, but lost to Miranda Lambert.

"Carrie you just killed it. ...She is literally the perfect singer," Lambert said onstage. "I'm really excited for women in country music."

Lambert was a firecracker during her performance with assists from ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Keith Urban, who both rocked out on guitar.

Chris Stapleton took him male vocalist of the year after being nominated for seven awards. His other notable wins included song of the year and album of the year.

Though country music's top acts attended the ACMs, actors got dibs on presenting some big awards.

Kiefer Sutherland, who is working on a country album, presented female vocalist of the year. And Tom Hiddleston, the British actor who portrays Hank Williams in biopic, "I Saw the Light," presented entertainer of the year at the end of the three-hour show, which aired on CBS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.