LAS VEGAS – Carrie Underwood made history at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday night, becoming the first woman to win entertainer of the year twice.
Underwood won the show’s top honor last year. This year, she beat out Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, George Strait and Keith Urban.
“I think I just got makeup all over Brad Paisley,” an excited Underwood said as she went onstage to accept her trophy. “Thank you, God, praise the Lord.”
Underwood also was recognized earlier in the evening with a special trophy for the “triple crown” of ACM wins – entertainer of the year, top female vocalist and top newcomer – in the course of her career.
Top-selling trio Lady Antebellum was the dominant winner, though, grabbing five trophies. And the trio’s good friend, Miranda Lambert, won three awards.
Lady A, the hit-making trio that includes Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, was the lead nominee, entering the show with seven. They snapped Rascal Flatts’ seven-year run as best vocal group and won song and single record of the year for the crossover hit “Need You Now.”
Lambert ended Underwood’s three-year run in the top female vocalist category. She hugged Underwood as she made her way to the stage, then named the other nominees – Underwood, Swift, Reba McEntire and Lee Ann Womack.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” she said.
She also won album of the year for “Revolution,” an award Lady A openly lobbied for her to win, and video of the year for “White Liar.”
Paisley, after a performance of his single “Water” where he fell backward into a pool of water on stage, won top male vocalist of the year for the fourth consecutive time.
And Brooks & Dunn, who are retiring after a summer tour, won best vocal duo for the 10th time in their two-decade career.
“We are currently in therapy with Brett Favre trying to figure out how to waffle on this,” Kix Brooks joked after the win.
The show was heavy on performances. It kicked off with Underwood and Lambert, joined on stage later by Paisley, Charlie Daniels and John Fogerty, who ripped through a rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Travelin’ Band.”
Swift, who won album of the year last year, was shut out this year, despite being nominated for five awards. It might have been the first awards show since her pop superstardom where she didn’t take home a trophy.
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