Couples and Collaborations: A Look at ACM Fashion History

The 48th annual Academy of Country Music Awards are taking place this Sunday, April 7th, in Las Vegas. As we all know, the red carpet and stage fashion choices are some of the most talked about items when it comes to award shows. Back, due to popular demand, is our very own pre-award show fashion reminiscent feature! This time, we take a look at the couples and collaborations of ACMs past … and, boy, have there been some questionably horrific and unquestionably sensational choices in ACM history!


There is no better way to kick this thing off than by discussing the 48th Annual ACM Awards host, Blake Shelton, and his blonde bombshell of a wife, Miranda Lambert. On their own, each of these two artists (whom we here at Keepin’ It Country just adore!) looks sensational. Blake looks absolutely dapper in his gray jacket, black shirt, and charcoal tie, while Miranda’s dress is just the perfect amount of flash to go with her shining personality. However, we believe each forgot to consider his/her own best accessory on the red carpet — each other! Silver and gold = giant no no, unless we are talking jewelry … We girls always make exceptions for jewelry!

If you have eyes, you know that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are gorgeous and insanely talented. Talk about a couple whose children who hit the DNA lottery!  However, natural beauty and undeniable talent does not always equate to great decisions. This particular ACM orange carpet appearance leaves a bit to be desired. Is Tim wearing a blazer or a fleece hoodie from Aeropostale? Is his shirt a collector’s item from “Saturday Night Fever”? And Faith looks like a flapper who found out she was hitting the orange carpet and decided to show her love for the Miami Dolphins (Fins to the left! Fins to the Right!). Questionable choices aside, these two are still smokin’, regardless of what they pull off the hangers on any given awards show Sunday!

47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards - Arrivals
It was really nice of Madame Tussaud’s to donate these wax figures of Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. Oh wait, it’s really them! Nashville’s favorite Australian duo hit the red carpet at the ACMs looking fabulous. With their matching hairdos and apparent affinity for all things crushed velvet, Nicole and Keith dazzled…and probably sweated up a storm in the Las Vegas dry heat.

The Collaborations:

Rascal Flatts teamed up with cross-genre sensation, Kelly Clarkson, to sing “What Hurts the Most” at the 2006 ACMs. No question about it, the fashion choices (and stellar performance) by this collaboration surely were not hurting on this night! Ladies first — Kelly always kills it when she wears red, and this night was no exception. The plunging front shows some skin, but leaves plenty to the imagination. Kelly looks classy, comfortable, and chic on the red carpet and on the arms of country music’s popular trio. The men of Rascal Flatts look a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n roll in vests, blazers, and t-shirts, while sporting some chest. Here’s to you, boys! Here’s to you!

Wait, is this a country awards show? Yes, yes it is. And it looks like Jem has returned from the 1980s to investigate whether Janie really does have a gun. Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith … not of American Idol, youngsters) joined Carrie Underwood during the 2011 ACM Awards to entertain country music fans with his unparalleled voice, while Carrie, once again, showed off  her incomparable leg muscles. Steven dons an all-white ensemble, including a long coat, that shows off his rocker side without leaving the country folk thinking he had gone “craaaaazy craaaaazy”. Carrie looks like she grabbed her red star earring, asked Synergy to change her into Jem so she and the Holograms could battle The Mizfits. However, because she is Carrie, and because she is a goddess, she somehow pulls off what looks like Black Swan meets Girl Interrupted flawlessly.

No, really. Is this a country awards show? Also in 2011, Rihanna joined Jennifer Nettles on stage at the ACM Awards, proving once again that different genres are becoming more and more accepting of our favorite music. Let’s start with Rihanna. Unlike Steven Tyler, Rihanna doesn’t quite pull off the all-white look. In fact, with that hairdo, she looks like a Q-Tip that was dipped in iodine (likely to soothe the pain of all of us who had to endure the length of her performance). We love Jennifer Nettles. A lot. And her outfit proves one very important thing to us…She is psychic and was foreshadowing her future as a “Duets” coach. Jennifer clearly was already planning the moment she took the stage with J. Rome to perform “You’re the One That I Want” from “Grease”. On the other hand, if she chose to break into some MC Hammer dancing in those pants, that would not be shocking either.

The Co-Host No More:

We will truly miss Reba hosting this year’s awards show. Reba has become a staple on the ACMs and, while we are excited for her that she has huge projects consuming her time, this installment of the awards will be an adjustment. Reba has had some amazing moments throughout the years, but discussing all of Reba’s awards, successes, and seamless performances is no fun; and we want to have fun! As such, here are some of Reba’s not-so-amazing fashion moments in ACM history.

Thumbs up, Reba? We think not. Bad color, bad fit, bad design. Oh, and the carpet DOES, in fact, match the drapes…


Cheeeeeese! Oh Reba, clearly someone just put a mirror in front of you for the first time right when the photographer was clicking the camera because you look like you’ve just seen a ghost. Or you really need to find the ladies’ room. And thank heavens the pixie do is no more!


We saved the best for last. We rarely render ourselves speechless, but we very well may be at a loss for words here. Considering a blog is meant for words, we will leave it at this:  A picture is worth a thousand of them!

Who will we fall for and who will fall victim to us on the red carpet? Who will carry home the big awards and who will go home simply holding a flask? Whose performances will shine and who will be outshone? Don’t forget to tune in this Sunday, April 7th, at 8:00 p.m. EST on CBS to find out!

Other things to look forward to during this year’s ACMs:

Tim McGraw will perform “Highway Don’t Care” with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban;

Hunter Hayes will world premiere his new single “I Want Crazy” and then be joined later by legendary music icon Stevie Wonder;

Kelly Clarkson will perform “Don’t Rush”;

Brad PaisleyDierks Bentley and Hunter Hayes will perform together live from ACM Fan Jam;

Country superstar Reba will introduce the George Strait and Garth Brooks performance. As previously announced, Strait and Brooks will perform together for the first time ever to pay tribute to Dick Clark. Each will perform a version of one of their classic hits and then join together for a very special moment;

Jewel will partner with ACM Lifting Lives to perform a live mash-up of her chart-topping hit “Hands” combined with “Fill a Heart,” an original song written by singer-songwriter Tori Kelly. This special musical moment, presented by ConAgra Foods’ Child Hunger Ends Here campaign, will be performed at the 48thANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS FAN JAM.

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