Luke Bryan was thrust into a performance immediately after being named the Male Vocalist of the Year winner at the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards on Monday night. After his song he got serious, thanking all who prayed for him during a difficult few weeks.

The 'Roller Coaster' singer was referring to the death of his brother-in-law, Ben Lee Cheshire, earlier this month. Cheshire was married to Bryan's late sister Kelly, who died in 2007. The ACC Awards were the first public appearance for Bryan since the recent loss.

Like all of the night's winners, Bryan's trophy was determined by airplay and sales. In 2014 he notched three No. 1 singles, including 'Drink a Beer' and 'Play It Again.' Given this formula he seems to be a lock for more trophies as the night clips along. He was quick to deflect praise however, even throwing the spotlight on 'Roller Coaster' songwriter Cole Swindell during the performance of the hit song.

See Pics From the First-Ever American Country Countdown Awards

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