That's a rap: ACMs open with Shelton acting as MC
Singer Taylor Swift arrives at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, 2013. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Blake Shelton and a group of high-profile friends opened the Academy of Country Music Awards with ... a rap?
That's right. Shelton was joined on his new hip-hop-flavored single touting redneck swag "Boys 'Round Here" by friends Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow and the trio Pistol Annies to kick off Sunday night's show in Las Vegas.
Co-hosts Shelton and Bryan — who have given themselves the celebrity couple name "Bluke" — immediately took it off-color as they insulted each other during their monologue.
"How about a shout out to the Sherwin-Williams company for spray-painting Luke's jeans on," Shelton joked as the camera zoomed in on Bryan's, ahem, mid-section.
Singer Luke Bryan, right, and Caroline Bryan arrive at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, 2013. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP)
Bryan took his turn: "Blake's jeans are like buying something on credit — nothing up front. I mean, what size are those, extra empty?"
The focus of this year's ACM Awards is on the men of country, and it's not just Shelton and Bryan taking the spotlight.
Top nominee Eric Church started the night with an award before he even hit the red carpet, winning vocal event of the year for his collaboration with Bryan and Jason Aldean on "The Only Way I Know."
"It's still kinda strange to me," Church said on the red carpet. "It's been a long journey, a long path. I can't control what I'm nominated for. I really have nothing to do with win or lose. We could win all seven, lose all seven. I promise you it won't affect anything. We're going to make the same kind of music, the same kind of show. Whatever happens happens."