Brad Paisley entertainer of the year at CMAs
By CHRIS TALBOTT
AP Entertainment Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It took five years, but Brad Paisley is finally the CMA’s entertainer of the year.
Paisley won the coveted trophy at the awards show Wednesday night. He had been nominated every year for the award since 2005 but come away empty handed.
Paisley won in a category that featured two of the night’s big winners.
Miranda Lambert won three trophies while Lady Antebellum won two. Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band were also up for the award.
Paisley served as the host of the evening’s ceremony with Carrie Underwood.
Blake Shelton won male vocalist of the year.
“Ooooh, shake it up CMA,” Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles said as she watched Shelton hug fiancee Miranda Lambert on his way to the stage.
Country’s “it” couple this year after their spring engagement, Lambert and Shelton both won two awards through two-thirds of the broadcast.
Lambert won album of the year for “Revolution” and video of the year for “The House That Built Me,” which also scored song of the year for songwriters Tom Douglas and Allan Shamblin.
And Shelton won music event of the year for “Hillbilly Bone” with Trace Adkins before ending Brad Paisley’s string of three straight male vocalist awards.
“After the night that Blake and Miranda are having, I think we can expect a baby in about nine months,” Paisley joked.
Hailed by critics and musicians as the best album of the year, “Revolution” completed a sweep of major country music awards on Lambert’s 27th birthday.
“’Revolution’ truly has caused a revolution in my life this year,” Lambert said.
Lambert has been front and center in Nashville since appearing on “Nashville Star” in 2003, finishing third, and her previous albums “Kerosene” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” were well received. But “Revolution,” released in September 2009, took her to a different level of the atmosphere.
She landed her first No. 1 songs, “White Liar” and “The House That Built Me,” took three trophies at The Academy of Country Music Awards in April, including album of the year, and recently reached 1 million in sales.
The album is a lot like Lambert — sassy, refreshingly honest, and a heck of a good time. Critics loved the CD, but so did her fellow musicians. That led to a record for the most nominations for a woman in the 44-year history of the CMAs and the second most overall. Both of her No. 1 hits were nominated in two categories, song and single of the year.
Lady Antebellum had nothing to be blue about, riding their hit “Need You Now” to wins for single of the year and vocal group. The hit song about late-night hookups helped Lady A sell 3 million albums so far this year.
“Thank you to my brother, Josh Kelley, for making me to move to Nashville six years ago, I love you,” Lady A vocalist Charles Kelley said after his band took single of the year.
Charles Kelley made the journey with his good buddy Dave Haywood and the two met Hillary Scott a short time later. The rest has been nonstop success with their second album, “Need You Now,” selling more than 3 million copies this year.
The Zac Brown Band won new artist of the year and Sugarland took vocal duo of the year.
Hosts Paisley and Carrie Underwood joined Keith Urban to kick off the show with “Songs Like This” before the hosts returned to poke lighthearted fun at the stars and current events.
“Nashville had a flood and it barely made news,” they sang, “while up through the gulf came a bubbling crude.”
They also made fun at Tiger Woods and Brett Favre, singing, “She caught Tiger with some tail it’s plain to see, and Brett Favre has taken up photography.”
Paisley could finally win the CMA’s coveted entertainer of the year trophy Wednesday night — but he’ll have to best another veteran and three relative upstart acts to make it happen. Paisley has been nominated for the award every year since 2005. Though he’s won 13 CMAs since first being nominated in 2000, he’s never won the biggest award.
But he faces tough competition from former winner Urban, Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band, the first act nominated for both entertainer of the year and new artist since Ricky Skaggs in 1982.
The show was shown on ABC.
Winners at the 44rd Annual CMA Awards
By The Associated Press
Winners at Wednesday’s 44th annual Country Music Association Awards:
— Entertainer of the Year: Brad Paisley
— Single: “Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum
— Album: “Revolution,” Miranda Lambert
— Song: “The House That Built Me,” Tom Doughas, Allen Shamblin (Miranda Lambert)
— Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert
— Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton
— Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum
— Vocal Duo: Sugarland
— Musical Event: “Hillbilly Bone,” Blake Shelton (featuring Trace Adkins)
— Musician: Mac McAnally
— Music Video: “The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert
— New Artist: Zac Brown Band