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Keith Urban named top country entertainer

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Keith Urban poses in the press room with the award for entertainer of the year at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Keith Urban was named entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards in his ninth nomination for the top prize.

Urban bested Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean, who held the title the last three years.

"Baby girl, I love you so much," Urban said, looking to his actress-wife, Nicole Kidman. "To the fans out there, you are amazing. You have no idea what you mean to me."

Urban also won entertainer of the year at the Country Music Association Awards in November - his first time winning the prize since 2005.

Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay solidified themselves as the hottest group in country music with multiple wins.

Kacey Musgraves won three honours won twice when Golden Hour picked up top album, as an artist and co-producer of the project. She was also named female artist of the year.

Musgraves said the award "goes out to anyone woman, girl, or anybody really" who has been told "her perspective or style is too different."

"Just stay at it. It'll work out," said Musgraves, who won four Grammys earlier this year, including album of the year and best country album.

Emmy-nominated This Is Us actress Chrissy Metz made her live singing debut and gave an emotional performance, teary-eyed at the song's end.

Metz sang I'm Standing with You from the upcoming film Breakthrough, which she stars in.

She was joined onstage by Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina, Mickey Guyton and Maddie & Tae. Yhe performers all wore blue dresses and sang in unison.

Ashley McBryde, who won new female artist of the year, also was memorable. Nearly in tears, she strummed her guitar and beautifully sang Girl Goin' Nowhere.

The 35-year-old was nominated for best country album at the Grammys and recently earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for her performance on CBS This Morning Saturday.

© AP 2019