Brooks supplied one of the night’s highlights, delivering a rousing medley of his enduring hits and even sharing the stage with movie star Chris Pratt. Pratt, who confessed to owning every single Garth Brooks album, joined the country legend for a few lines at the end of the performance, and then handed his hero the Artist of the Decade Award.
With Brooks’ wife Trisha Yearwood looking on from the audience, the Hall of Famer offered a simple-yet-heartfelt thanks for the award.
Elsewhere on the night Luke Combs was named the Country Artist of the Year, while “Singles You Up” singer Jordan Davis snagged the Best New Country Artist award. The monster hit “Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line won Country Song of the Year, and Jason Aldean’s Rearview Town was crowned Country Album of the Year.
But it was the non-country categories where things got interesting.
The infectious smash “The Middle,” by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, ended up one of the night’s biggest winners. It took home not only the Dance Song of the Year honor, but also the coveted all-genre Song of the Year award, beating out a field which included hits by Post Malone, Maroon 5 and Cardi B, Drake and Ed Sheeran.
Looking stunned in a dazzling mirrorball cocktail dress, Morris could barely muster a thankful “Oh my gosh! This is so cool!” as she and her collaborators accepted the award. Meanwhile, Harry Styles and Kacey Musgraves won Best Cover Song for their gentle rendition of Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One.” Considering the iHeartRadio Music Awards are 100 percent fan voted, it looks like country is “still the one” for many radio listeners.