November 12, 2009 in Nation/World

Swift is CMA entertainer of year

Also top female, album, video
Chris Talbott Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Taylor Swift performs Wednesday at the CMA awards in Nashville, Tenn.
(Full-size photo)

CMA award winners

Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift

Single: “I Run to You,” Lady Antebellum

Album: “Fearless,” Taylor Swift

Song: “In Color,” Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller, James Otto

Female Vocalist: Taylor Swift

Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley

Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

Vocal Duo: Sugarland

Musical Event: “Start a Band,” Brad Paisley (duet with Keith Urban)

Musician: Mac McAnally

Music Video: “Love Story,” Taylor Swift

New Artist: Darius Rucker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s been Taylor Swift’s year, and Wednesday was her night as she became the youngest person and the first solo female act in a decade to win the Country Music Association’s entertainer of the year award.

Swift won all four awards for which she was nominated, making history on a historic night that included Darius Rucker’s win as new artist.

“I’ll never forget this moment because in this moment everything that I have ever wanted has just happened to me,” Swift said through tears as she accepted the association’s highest honor during ceremonies at Sommet Center.

The 19-year-old crossover sensation beat the biggest names in country and snapped Kenny Chesney’s stranglehold on the category: He won three straight and four of the last five. She also ended Carrie Underwood’s three-year dominance in the female vocalist category.

Chesney hugged and kissed Swift on the cheek, then whispered a message in her ear before she received the trophy. She called her band on stage and was the center of a group hug as fans cheered wildly, holding signs that said, “We love you, Taylor”; her father cried in the audience.

“Every single person in that category let me open up for them this year,” Swift said. “Thank you all so much. I love you.”

Rucker was also a fan favorite, running into the crowd during his performance of “Alright.” The Hootie and the Blowfish frontman, who has sold 1 million copies of his first country album, “Learn to Live,” became the second African-American to win a major individual CMA.

He joins Charley Pride, who won entertainer of the year in 1971 and male vocalist in 1971-72.

“First of all, to the fans, thank y’all for accepting me,” Rucker said. “And I think most importantly, to country radio, you took a chance on a pop singer from Charleston, S.C. Thank you so much for that!”

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