Relatively new faces dominated at Wednesday night’s 44th Annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, where upstart country crooner couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton struck gold, along with veteran Brad Paisley who won the night’s top prize.
Lambert – who turned 27 on Wednesday – won best album for Revolution, best video for The House That Built Me (songwriters Tom Doughas and Allen Shamblin won best song for the same track), and best female vocalist.
After her win for female vocalist was announced by the legendary Loretta Lynn, Lambert, fighting back tears, said, “The woman that paved the way for all females, ever, in country music is standing here beside me and handed me this award… I’m going to keep going for the other women in this industry.”
Her fiancé Shelton – who took home the honors for best male vocalist and best musical event (Hillbilly Bone) – said he was happy to be on the bright side of the voters.
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“I know this stuff is political and that’s my favorite thing about it right now,” he said. “That’s the hardest thing to do in this town, is to get people on your side.”
Paisley won the night’s big award – entertainer of the year. He said he owed the “award to my crew that put this show on and take as much pride in it as I do. If there was ever a year I wanted to win this one, it was this year.”
He said the CMA Awards as a whole “really showed the health of country music right now — the fact that people are making some of the best music ever in our history.”