Here I am on May 14, 2007, the day before the ACMs, interviewing host Reba McEntire. She's got a fantastic personality and is so funny and great to interview. That big square you see between us is a light, by the way.
Reba McEntire embodies the charm of so many of the incredibly talented and down-to-earth country music stars.
The scene at rehearsals the night before the ACMs, May 14, 2007, in Las Vegas. You may recognize the blonde guy from Rascal Flatts, Joe Don Rooney. Their album was the No. 1 seller in any musical genre this year.
Spending Mother's Day in Las Vegas just before the Academy of Country Music Awards, May 15, 2007. I interviewed Carrie Underwood; we chatted about how her mom keeps her grounded.
Carrie Underwood has blossomed so much over the last year. She's really comfortable and confident doing interviews, and she told me that she wanted to be in broadcast journalism before she made it big as a singer.
Chatting with Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts. I only get to see these guys once or twice a year, so it's always a lot of fun to catch up.
The Early Show lighting crew working hard before an interview with "The Flatts," in Las Vegas on May 15, 2007.
Very early the day of the ACMs, May 15, 2007. We had to get up at 1:45 a.m. Pacific time to do our shows. Country music superstar Vince Gill was nice enough to roll out of bed and do a live interview that day. He was really punchy and funny during our chat.
This is Josh Turner, a young singer who performed live just before 7 a.m. Vegas time. I don't know how these folks manage to sound so good at that hour of the day. Josh reminds me of one of my favorites, old-timer George Jones.
Many hours later, (about 4 p.m. Pacific time) on the red carpet. My make-up artist, Lisa Mirante, had her work cut out for her that day. I was so tired!
Showing off my dress to "Entertainment Tonight." My friend Carmen Marc Valvo made it especially for me and then liked it so much, he put it into production. Neiman Marcus picked it up for a fall anniversary line.
Hamming it up on the red carpet in full pageant mode, May 15, 2007! It was fun dressing up in sequins head to toe and wearing all those diamonds from Klaus. But you wouldn't want to do this every day; it takes a lot of work!
Arriving for the 42nd Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 15, 2007.
On the red carpet with my buddy Kelli Pickler of "American Idol" fame. The night was really overwhelming for her. Just a year ago she was a waitress at Sonic and couldn't believe that now she was nominated for Best New Female Artist. She's a doll.
Backstage at the MGM Grand Arena chatting with Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks just before the broadcast on May 15, 2007. They have dominated the Best Duo category forever, and they're two of the funniest guys around. I love hearing their stories.
This was my favorite moment of the night, backstage with teen sensation Taylor Swift. She stopped me in the hallway to introduce herself and to tell me that I was a role model for her. She said that I was her idea of what a woman should be. It almost made me cry, and I felt so great about that!
Hanging out in a tiny little green room and waiting to go onstage with Carrie Underwood and her boyfriend, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. We passed the time chatting about one of our favorite people, NFL legend Joe Montana.
Here I am greeting my co-presenter, Tracy Lawrence, backstage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 15, 2007. We gave out the first award of the night, Song of the Year. I was a little bit nervous, but Tracy made me feel really comfortable.
Walking out on stage with Tracy to present the Song of the Year award. I asked him if I could grab on to his arm because I was worried about tripping on my dress. Thanks to him, I made it on and off the stage safely!
My reaction after opening the envelope for Song of the Year and seeing that George Strait was going to pick up the first award of the night. I can't tell you how exciting it is to give one of these awards away because you know you're just going to make someone's night!