NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It was couples night at the Country Music Association Awards as Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert capped an emotional evening with Shelton’s first entertainer of the year award.
“The Voice” star won a leading three awards, including his third straight male vocalist of the year award. Lambert won female vocalist of the year, and the couple shared song of the year for their heart-rending collaboration “Over You.”
Lambert openly wept on stage in one of the more emotional CMA moments in recent memory as her husband recounted for the ABC television audience how his late father, Dick, spurred the couple to write the heart-rending song about the loss of his brother Richie.
Shelton and Lambert weren’t the only couple with surprising wins. Little Big Town, a quartet that includes couple Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook, took home vocal group and single of the year for “Pontoon.”
And Thompson Square’s Shawna and Keifer Thompson won vocal duo of the year, ending Sugarland’s five-year run in that category.
Like fellow outsiders LBT, Eric Church felt the love from the CMA’s voters for the first time. He won the prestigious album of the year for his breakthrough record “Chief,” signaling his complete acceptance by the country music community.
Hunter Hayes won new artist of the year, while Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw won musical event of the year for “Party Like a Rock Star” and Toby Keith won video of the year for “Red Solo Cup.”