For the first time in ACM Awards history — and hopefully last — an Entertainer of the Year winner accepted the award via Zoom. 

Luke Bryan grinned a shocked smile as he accepted the top prize Sunday night from a screen projected on stage at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. 

It was one in a handful of pandemic-born maneuvers that the Academy of Country Music juggled as the organization threw its second show in seven months from a handful of historic Nashville venues. 

Still, the show went on with masked audiences, in-person nominees and more hints of "normal" creeping around the corner. 

As co-host Keith Urban said to open the show: "We've been through so much, but I'm proud to say that we are very much on our way back, and we've done it with a lot of fight, and a lot of help.”

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