The 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM Awards), hosted in Nashville for the first time this past Wednesday night (Sept. 16), deserved the often-overused descriptor "unique." Even a veteran performer like Carrie Underwood was surely caught off guard by giving an acceptance speech to an empty crowd, and that weirdness followed her unprecedented sharing of the Entertainer of the Year prize with fellow country star Thomas Rhett.
So, it should be easy enough to forgive Underwood for forgetting shout-outs to her husband Mike Fisher and their sons Jacob and Isaiah after host Keith Urban set the stage for the American Idol winner's speech.
"Thank you, God, so much. All Glory, glory to God," went Underwood's speech, as televised on CBS. "And thank you to the ACMs, not just for this, but for putting me in such incredible company. I am more than happy to share this with Thomas Rhett and just to have my name mentioned with his."
After Underwood's big win, which broke her tie with Taylor Swift as the only woman to win Entertainer of the Year twice, she made up for her omission in the virtual press room.
"I'm a dummy for not mentioning my husband or my children in my acceptance speech," she told reporters. "You would think after this many years and seeing other people give speeches and doing some of my own, I would think of people who are important to me. So I'm sorry! I do love my children and my husband!"
Underwood performed twice during the ACMs. First, she sang "Before He Cheats" during a show-opening medley with fellow Entertainer of the Year nominees Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs and Rhett. Later on, she paid tribute to country music's superstar women with another medley spotlighting the songs of Dolly Parton ("Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That"), Patsy Cline ("Crazy"), Reba McEntire ("The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"), Loretta Lynn ("You Ain't Woman Enough"), Barbara Mandrell ("I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool") and Martina McBride ("A Broken Wing").
"Patsy and Loretta, Martina and Barbara, Reba and Dolly. These strong voices mean so much to me and to all the other female artists who stand on their shoulders," Underwood said, as quoted by Fox News. "They are some of my heroes, and I am so honored to stand alongside them as a fellow member of the Grand Ole Opry. It's my pleasure to pay tribute to these legendary ladies as we celebrate the Opry's 95th anniversary."