"But this is unobtainable, this is so unobtainable," Bryan said as he held the trophy up and looked at it. "You know that statue in Rio De Janeiro (of Jesus Christ). That is what this award is like for me, up on the mount, you know."
Turns out a majority of a record 1.1 million voters thought he'd look good holding that silver trophy.
Bryan's win will be the talk of Las Vegas as the celebration continues well into Monday morning, but Lambert again walks away as the academy's trophy magnet.
She won her fourth straight female vocalist award, joining Reba McEntire and Loretta Lynn as the only singers to win female vocalist of the year four or more times. She also picked up three trophies for her hit song "Over You" — one for single record of the year and two for song of the year. She was performer of the song and co-wrote it with Shelton, her husband.
"As a songwriter, having your song and your lyrics recognized by your peers is pretty much as good as it gets," Lambert said. "And I'm so thankful for being in this genre of country music, every single time someone's nominated, I just cheer, because I love everybody to death. So thank you for accepting me as a songwriter, not just as a singer, because that means the world to me."
Church won two awards, including album of the year for "Chief," and was tied with Aldean, Little Big Town and Florida Georgia Line in overall win total. Church's producer, Jay Joyce, also won two awards — for album of the year and the off-camera producer of the year.
Church called "Chief," which was nominated two years in a row, a defining album.