LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Chris Stapleton, in his breakthrough year, took home more hardware at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, winning Album of the Year with "Traveller" and Song of the Year with "Nobody to Blame."
Before success on his own, the bearded, Kentucky-born singer wrote or co-wrote six number one hits for some of country's biggest stars. "Traveller" also won a Grammy Award earlier this year for Best Country Album.
The Country Music awards show held in Las Vegas got off to a raucous start with co-host Luke Bryan performing "Huntin', Fishin' And Lovin' Every Day." He was later joined on stage by Blake Shelton, with whom he had co-hosted the awards since 2013.
This year, Shelton was replaced by Dierks Bentley. When Bentley came on stage with Bryan, Shelton joined in and said: "Good luck tonight boys."
He then turned to Bryan and said, "You're a dumbass."
Bentley and Bryan then joked about how everyone in Nashville wanted to take credit for Stapleton's success.
Stapleton also won the New Male Vocalist of the Year Award while Kelsea Ballerini won the New Female Vocalist of the Year award.
Eric Church, in a performance of his song "Record Year," paid tribute to musicians who died in the past year including David Bowie, Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland, Motorhead bass player Lemmy and Eagles guitarist and vocalist Glenn Frey.
Thomas Rhett won Single Record of the Year with the song "Die a Happy Man."
Florida Georgia Line won the Vocal Duo of the Year.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Andrew Hay)