It's one of country music's biggest nights and it all started as a way to promote the country and western genre. Way back in 1964, the Country and Western Music Academy was created to help promote the genres with west coast artists like Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell and Buck Owens among others.

Just two years later, the Academy hosted their very first award show. It was one of the first times country music took a grand stage and got serious recognition. Winners that first year included Kay Adams, Haggard, Bonnie Owens and Buck Owens. In 1968, the show got their signature hat trophies for winners and in the early 70's the Academy changed their name to what we know today -- the Academy of Country Music.

The ACM Awards first hit the airwaves in 1972 and in 1979 they joined with Dick Clark Productions, the production company that still produces the award show all these years later. Nine years later, the ACM made their impression on Nashville. They joined with Country Radio Seminar to open CRS with some big names including Hank Williams, Jr., Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn, Dolly Parton and Alan Jackson.

The ACM Awards grew and grew and finally made their way from Los Angeles to Sin City in 2003, where they still reside today. The show gets bigger and more impressive every year and everyone waits to hear who will take home the top prize, Entertainer of the Year. That award wasn't included in the show until 1970 and Haggard claimed the very first one.