Billed as , it's not surprising that sometimes things get a little wild at the Academy of Country Music Awards. First held in 1966, the awards show has experienced its fair share of awkward moments over the years. Ahead of the 53rd Annual ACMs, we've rounded up the most cringeworthy moments to ever go down at the show—get ready for a (slightly uncomfortable) walk down memory lane.
At the 1994 Academy of Country Music Awards, Alan Jackson decided to go rogue. First, instead of wearing the usual black-tie garb for the red carpet, Alan emblazoned with a photo of Hank Williams. Later, during the live broadcast, Alan and his band took to the stage to perform "Gone Country," but the singer wasn't happy that the show's producers had asked him and his band to play along to a pre-recorded track. As and the track started blasting, eagle-eyed viewers noticed a problem—Alan's drummer was playing sans drumsticks as a subtle form of protest.
In 2009, magician David Copperfield—wearing a cowboy hat—stopped by the ACMs to dramatically ." We're not sure how he pulled off the trick, but it certainly was over the top.
Imitation isn't always the sincerest form of flattery. Before Ashton Kutcher presented the Female Vocalist of the Year trophy to Miranda Lambert in 2013, he took to the stage in a ten-gallon hat and cowboy clothing to of "I Cross My Heart" by George Strait. While Miranda was business as usual as she accepted her award, she later asking if Ashton was "making fun of country" music during his spiel. Meanwhile, her fellow country star Justin Moore of his own about the actor's choice of clothing.
Although Sam might be used to being in the spotlight, it seems like his now-wife, Hannah, is not. At the 2017 ceremony, Sam performed his hit "Body Like a Backroad," and halfway through the song. Although the gesture was pretty sweet, Hannah looked more than a little uncomfortable during the serenade.
They weren't even in attendance at the 2003 awards, but the Dixie Chicks' presence was definitely felt. Lead singer Natalie Maines had recently she was embarrassed that President George W. Bush was also from the state of Texas. Although she later apologized for her remarks, the damage had been done: The the Dixie Chicks every time their name was mentioned, and the group didn't win a single award that night.
They might be the most unusual guests in ACM Award history. In 2012, KISS presented the Vocal Group of the Year accolade to Lady Antebellum. But , the group was incredibly gracious to country music and its artists. "You've got to tip your hat to mainstream American music," Gene Simmons said. "It's country, baby. We love it."
As a very pregnant Faith Hill (she gave birth less than two weeks later!) and dad-to-be Tim McGraw walked the red carpet at the 1997 awards, Dick Clark stopped the couple to ask a few questions—and the resulting back-and-forth was a bit uncomfortable. , "What is going to happen when the baby's born—are you both going to go back to work?" to which Tim replied, "I'm probably gonna cry." Of course, Dick was referring to when the two would return from maternity leave and Tim was talking about the immediate moments following the birth, but it still made for an awkward moment.
The Country Music Association might be the Academy of Country Music's biggest competitor, but it still managed to snag the Video of the Year award at the 2017 ACMs. Produced by the CMA in honor of its 50th awards show, the video for "," of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again," and John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads."
On the surface, it seemed random to invite the British actor to present the 2016 Entertainer of the Year award (which went to Jason Aldean), but it made more sense knowing that Tom Hank Williams in the movie I Saw the Light. "I feel like a guest at this party," Tom . It's too bad the awards were a few months before his short-lived relationship with Taylor Swift began—she could have given him some tips!
Shania made her return to the ACM Awards stage as a presenter in 2013, but while announcing the Entertainer of the Year—a title she won herself in 1999— to winner Luke Bryan's last name. To her credit, she did tell the audience she was "so nervous" right before she said his name. But Luke didn't seem to notice—or care—as he hugged Shania and gave a tear-filled acceptance speech.
We love the song "Die a Happy Man," especially knowing that it was inspired by Thomas' Lauren Akins, but fans as to how the song won Single of the Year and also took home the award for Song of the Year in 2017. But we're sure there's a good explanation—and we don't mind listening to the tune again and again.
No, your eyes aren't playing tricks. Hunter, who's 5'6", is a full foot shorter than professional football player Jason. Although the height difference is comical, the two got together in 2015 for a good cause. to raise awareness about childhood hunger in the U.S.
While presenting the 2015 award for Entertainer of the Year (which ultimately went to Carrie Underwood), Texan Matthew McConaughey . Matthewabout how he and his brother once tried to woo a couple of women by saying that they had an "exclusive contract" designing and making George's cowboy boots. During her acceptance speech, Carrie joked about wanting to check out the boots.
With just three hours and so many awards, performances, and speeches to get through, it seemed a little ridiculous that in 2011, the first award of the night wasn't presented until 53 minutes into the broadcast. (It was and it went to Miranda Lambert for her ballad "The House That Built Me.")
At the 2013 awards, The Band Perry of their hit track "Done." Although the visuals were impressive, complete with aggressive head-banging, surprise pyrotechnics, and synchronized dance moves, all the excitement left lead singer Kimberly Perry out of breath by the end of the song. At least they were enthusiastic!
Speaking of celebrity appearances, to the 2015 show to announce a performance by Dierks Bentley. But instead of getting right to it, Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan interrupted Tony and begged him to throw a football. Tony obliged, Luke caught the ball, and a slew of awkward Deflategate jokes ensued.
Proving again and again she's a force to be reckoned with, Miranda Lambert by winning her eighth consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year award at the 2017 ACMs. In her speech, Miranda gave a shout out to her fellow nominee, Carrie Underwood, saying that the American Idol alum could "sing me under the table." But over on Twitter, Carrie fans were quick to air their anger over the loss.
Country music's former sweetheart said goodbye to the genre in 2015 after . "To the country music community—when I told you that I made a pop album and that I wanted to explore other genres, you showed me who you are with the grace you accepted that with," she said. Although Taylor was only 25 at the time, she'd won eight ACM awards before taking home the Milestone, so the award didn't seem undeserving. Some viewers, however, ."
Viewers were surprised to see Daft Punk crash the award show in 2014. Although non-country stars have presented in the past, the electronic group seemed like an especially offbeat choice. But after a few moments, the two men pulled off their helmets to reveal their true identities as Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. "I couldn't even breathe!" Luke said.
Legendary comedian Foster Brooks opened the show in 1979 to perform his most famous act. and rambled on about the awards all while pretending that he had a little too much to drink. Although his act got quite a few hearty laughs back then, it's hard to imagine it bringing down the house today.
Wearing bright colors and sparkly ensembles, Dolly and Katy belted out a fun medley of "Coat of Many Colors," "Jolene," and "9 to 5" in 2016. But during the show, co-host Dierks Bentley tried to make a joke about the duo—and it wasn't about their performance. "What a great pair... [I mean] a great pairing!" he said—but the quip fell flat with the audience. He might want to stick to commenting on Katy and Dolly's singing abilities in the future.
Kelsea Ballerini can definitely light up a stage on her own, but during her rendition of "Love Me Like You Mean It" and "Peter Pan" at the 2016 awards. Fans complained that the Jonas brother isn't a country singer and noted that his guitar playing was slightly stiff, but he might have just been nervous to be playing next to Kelsea.
After taking home the awards for both New Vocal Duo or Group and Vocal Duo, you'd think the least the Brothers Osborne could get a full performance slot. But the singers of their song "It Ain't My Fault," and fans were not pleased. However, their emotional acceptance speeches were so touching that it (almost) made up for only getting to hear half of their performance.