WATCH: Luke Bryan Gives Emotional Acceptance Speech for Entertainer of the Year Win at 2021 ACM Awards

by Jennifer Shea

Country star Luke Bryan won the Entertainer of the Year award at the 2021 ACM Awards last night. And when it came time for his acceptance speech, Bryan got a little emotional.

“Oh my God, this – y’all got me,” Bryan began, initially at a loss for words. “Everybody at my record label, UMG-Capitol, and my booking agent, Jake Williams… oh my God… my management, Carrie Edwards, who’s off camera freaking out right now, my wife, at home, and my boys and – oh my God – congrats, Mickey and Keith, what a great night you guys have done.”

“And to all my fans out there, and country radio, we’ve missed touring,” Bryan added emotionally. “We’ve missed being on the road with everybody that makes me an entertainer – my bus drivers, my band, my crew. What a challenging year. But to all the fans and everybody, we’ll be back on the road doing what we love. And what an amazing honor. I love you guys.”   

Luke Bryan Accepted the Award from the ‘American Idol’ Set

Earlier this month, Bryan tested positive for COVID-19 and thus was unable to participate in the 2021 ACM Awards. But he accepted the award remotely from Los Angeles, where he was on the set of “American Idol.”

“To the ACM, I’m so sorry I could not be there,” Bryan said, according to People. “I missed certainly being able to do my song. And all the winners tonight, congratulations. Oh my God. Y’all got me!”

Bryan missed the first live show of “American Idol” this season due to his COVID-19 diagnosis. But he returned to the set on Sunday.

“I mean, it was really, really tough not being there,” Bryan told Entertainment Tonight this weekend. “That was the toughest part of quarantine. It was really tough for me to have to miss out but I was really honored and very amazed that Paula [Abdul] stepped in for me.”

Bryan Made the Most of Quarantine

Luke Bryan was quarantined at home after his diagnosis, so he wasn’t able to hug his wife and kids. But he was able to text “American Idol” co-hosts Katy Perry and Lionel Richie while he watched the show from home. Bryan took advantage of the opportunity to give his co-stars some tips in real-time.

“It was really interesting to talk to Lionel and Katy and really tell them how wonderful some contestants looked on TV,” Bryan told ET. “Even in the room, we miss out on some of the nuances of pitchiness and vocal stuff, but when you’re on TV, the TV doesn’t lie. So I could kind of tell Lionel and Katy some stuff.”

Meanwhile, with a third Entertainer of the Year win to buoy his spirits – Bryan also won the award in 2013 and 2015 – the musician’s return from quarantine will be that much happier.