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Kellie Pickler cleans up at CMT Music Awards
Former "American Idol" contestant Kellie Pickler swept the CMT Music Awards Monday (4/14), taking home the prizes for USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year, Performance of the Year and Tearjerker Video of the Year, all for "I Wonder."
"This is the first time I won anything in my life," Pickler said via satellite from Scottsdale, AZ, where she was preparing for Country Thunder in Florence, AZ. "I'm so excited. Thank you 'American Idol,' you are the rocket that launched my career."
Pickler was among the most-nominated artists for this year's CMT awards. Pickler, "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood, Pickler, Kenny Chesney, LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift and Trace Adkins received three nominations each.
Paula Abdul, who introduced Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's performance of "I Need You," commented, "There are so many 'American Idol' alum here that I feel this is a reunion and I'm a proud mom. … I'm just proud of my little angels."
"Are you sure? Are you serious? Oh my God. Oh my God. I can't even believe this," a visibly stunned Swift told the crowd at Belmont University in Nashville.
Swift also won Video of the year for her hit "Our Song," beating out Kenny Chesney ("Don't Blink"), Brad Paisley ("Online") and Sugarland ("Stay").
Rascal Flatts, who performed "Bob That Head," won Group Video of the Year, an award presented by Martina McBride. Collaborative Video of the Year went to Bon Jovi and LeAnn Rimes for the sexy "'Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore"
"I wish Jon was here tonight; I had a lot of fun rolling around with him in bed," Rimes said before turning to her husband and adding, "Sorry honey, I love you. You're hotter."
The show opened with a skit about Trace Adkins desperately trying to get tickets to the show--hosted by Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus--for his young daughters. It featured Donald Trump, and presidential candidates Barack Obama, John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton calling Miley Cyrus news, tour dates, photos and tickets">Miley Cyrus for tickets as well.
Joined by Brooks and Dunn, Keith Urban opened the musical portion with "Raise the Barn." Sugarland, along with Little Big Town and Jake Owen, performed the '80s hit "Life in a Northern Town" by the British group The Dream Academy. Rimes relived her video, copping a drab blue prisoner dress and thigh-highs for her rendition of "Nothing Better to Do."
Video of the Year
Taylor Swift, "Our Song," directed by Trey Fanjoy
Male Video of the Year
Trace Adkins, "I Got My Game On"
Female Video of the Year
Taylor Swift, "Our Song"
Group Video of the Year
Rascal Flatts, "Take Me There"
Duo Video of the Year
USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year
Kellie Pickler, "I Wonder"
Collaborative Video of the Year
Bon Jovi and LeAnn Rimes, "'Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore"
Performance of the Year
Kellie Pickler, "I Wonder" from the 41st Annual CMA Awards
Supporting Character of the Year
Rodney Carrington, "I Got My Game On"
Wide Open Country Video of the Year
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)"
Tearjerker Video of the Year
Kellie Pickler, "I Wonder"
Comedy Video of the Year
Brad Paisley, "Online"
Video Director of the Year
Michael Salomon, "High Maintenance Woman" by Toby Keith, "I Got My Game On," Trace Adkins and "Love Me If You Can" by Toby Keith