ACM Honors Recap: Charles Kelley on Blake Shelton: “He’s an A**hole”

Lady A’s front man rips on his buddy Blake.

Never let it be said that Blake Shelton doesn’t have a sense of humor.

When Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley accepted an award at Tuesday night’s (Sept. 10) ACM Honors in Nashville, he took a moment to good-naturedly jab at The Voice star. “Everyone keeps asking, ‘Do you know Blake Shelton?’” Charles said, citing a question often posed by fans, before pausing to deliver his answer: “Yes, and he’s an a**hole.”

The entirety of the Ryman Auditorium audience, and Blake himself, all cracked up.

Such was the lighthearted mood at the annual ceremonies, a loose evening for the Academy of Country Music to hand out awards in touring, international outreach (for which Lady A was honored) and other more industry-focused categories. Blake received a special achievement award, Jason Aldean was recognized for his touring success (by Alabama’s Randy Owen) and songwriter Dallas Davidson was lauded for his array of monster radio hits.

The highlights were more often than not musical in nature. Lady A’s Charles and Dave Haywood paid tribute to Dallas by performing “We Own the Night,” which Dallas co-wrote, along with Luke Bryan’s “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” another Dallas composition. The night’s host, Dierks Bentley, played his new single, “I Hold On,” Vince Gill and steel player Paul Franklin performed Buck Owens’ “Together Again,” and Jamey Johnson and Holly Williams honored Holly’s legendary grandfather with “I Saw the Light.”

But it was Chris Young who arguably stole the show with a tribute to George Jones. Chris’ nuanced voice lit up a medley of “The Window Up Above,” “The Race Is On” and George’s signature song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” During the week of what would have been the Possum’s 82nd birthday, it was a fitting musical present.

Look for more on the ACM Honors in an upcoming issue of Country Weekly.

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