Taylor Swift takes top CMA prize
Country cutie Taylor Swift again took home the CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year during a ceremony held Wednesday (11/9) at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
"I'm so happy right now," Swift said after winning the top CMA prize for the second time in three years. Utilizing her usual routine of reading notes she wrote on her arm, Swift ran down her thank-you list, which included all of the artists she played with this year, among them Justin Bieber, Tim McGraw, Nelly, Jason Mraz and Usher.
It's been quite a year for Jason Aldean, too. He played to sold-out venues this summer, and his current album, "My Kinda Party," was a rousing success. Now, he has his first two CMA Awards to place atop his mantle. The Georgia native took home Album of the Year for "My Kinda Party," and he shared the award for Musical Event of the Year with Kelly Clarkson for "Don't You Wanna Stay."
"Oh man, thank you so much," Aldean said after winning Album of the Year. "What a year. First of all, I have to thank my wife, Jessica, for putting up with my schedule and everything that's gone on the last few years."
He also thanked his daughters and the man who was standing next to him, producer/longtime friend Michael Knox. Aldean said Knox discovered him in an Atlanta club.
"He has made every record I've ever done," Aldean said. "I definitely wouldn't be here without this guy right here."
The Band Perry took three prizes: New Artist of the Year, as well as Single of the Year and Song of the Year for "If I Die Young."
"I truly believe that 'If I Die Young' would have been written with or without me," said The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry. "This song was meant to be here. I was so excited to have the pen and paper in hand when it was ready to come to Earth."
Vocal Group of the Year went to the trio Lady Antebellum, which beat out The Band Perry, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts and the Zac Brown Band.
"Wow, there is no way we can be singled out amongst this group," said Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood. "We want to thank God and our families and everyone at Capitol Records."
For the fifth time, Sugarland was honored with Vocal Duo of the Year. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush paid tribute to victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse during their thank-you speech.
The three-hour, pop-heavy telecast, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, was jam packed with performances. Male Vocalist of the Year Blake Shelton and teamed with Kenny Loggins to kick off the show with a duet of "Footloose."
Lionel Richie made his country debut singing "Deep River Woman" with Little Big Town, "Stuck on You" with Darius Rucker and "Dancing on the Ceiling" with Rascal Flatts.
Pop star Matt Nathanson debuted his new single "Run" with Sugarland. Keith Urban, who's scheduled for vocal surgery soon, performed a flawless rendition of "You Gonna Fly." Sara Evans sang "A Little Bit Stronger," and Miranda Lambert -- surrounded by flames -- did "Baggage Claim."
Natasha Bedingfield, wearing a dress apparently inspired by Sesame Street's Snuffleupagus, joined Rascal Flatts on stage for "Easy." Aldean returned to the stage after winning two awards to do "Tattoos on This Town."
A melange of country stars paid tribute to legendary singer/guitarist Glen Campbell, who recently disclosed he has Alzheimer's. Vince Gill handled "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," while Urban laid down "Wichita Lineman." Paisley sang "Galveston." Campbell then joined them on stage to a standing ovation.
Entertainer of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
New Artist of the Year
The Band Perry
Vocal Group of the Year
Vocal Duo of the Year
Single of the Year
"If I Die Young," The Band Perry and produced by Paul Worley
Album of the Year
"My Kinda Party," Jason Aldean and produced by Michael Knox
Song of the Year
"If I Die Young," The Band Perry
Musical Event of the Year
"Don't You Wanna Stay," Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson
Music Video of the Year
"You and Tequila," Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter and directed by Shaun Silva
Musician of the Year
Mac McAnally, guitar