Aldean, who won the award for three consecutive years, from 2015 to 2017, was also honored with the ACM Award for Artist of the Decade. He was the sixth artist to receive the award, following in the footsteps of Marty Robbins, Loretta Lynn, Alabama, Brooks and George Strait.
"I think it speaks volumes about my record company [Broken Bow Records], my management, my whole team for what we have all accomplished over the last 15 years," Aldean said of the award in an interview with Billboard. "Obviously, I'm the guy standing there that gets all the credit for everything but behind the scenes there are a lot of people who put in a lot of work. There is a lot of thought involved in every move that we make as far as my career goes. To me, it’s been a team effort."
Aldean had a shot at being the first artist since Brooks to win Artist of the Decade and Entertainer fo the Year on the same night. Aldean told Billboard he was not thinking about that stat too much before the show.
"We have been fortunate enough to get that Entertainer of the Year award the last three years and it’s been great. If we get it again that would be amazing, but if it is somebody else's turn to get it I’ll be excited for them," he said. "I've said my whole career that was an award I wanted to win once. So, to have it three years in a row was more than I ever hoped for."
Stapleton and Urban were the only Entertainer of the Year nominees also up for Male Artist of the Year, which went to Thomas Rhett.
Female Artist of the Year winner Kacey Musgraves was not nominated for Entertainer of the Year.
Stapleton was notably the only Entertainer of the Year nominee with an album up for Album of the Year. His From A Room: Volume 2 competed against Musgraves' Golden Hour, Dierks Bentley's The Mountain, Eric Church's Desperate Man and Dan + Shay's self-titled album. Musgraves took home the award.
Bryan's "Most People Are Good" was nominated for Single of the Year, against Jake Owen's "Down to the Honkytonk," Kane Brown's "Heaven," Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be" and Dan + Shay's "Tequila." Dan + Shay's song won the award.
Stapleton's "Broken Halos" was nominated for Song of the Year. The rest of the field included Musgraves' "Space Cowboy," "Yours" by Russell Dickerson, Cole Swindell's "Break Up In The End" and "Meant to Be." "Tequilla" was victorious in the category though.
Before the ceremony began, Bentley and Brothers Osborne won Music Event of the Year for "Burning Man." LANCO won New Duo or Group of the Year, while Luke Combs won New Male Artist. Ashley McBryde won for New Female Artist of the Year.