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LAS VEGAS â€“ Â The women of country acquire taken the wheel.
Carrie Underwood captured amateur of the year Sunday night at the Academy of Country Music Awards, acceptable the top account that has eluded women for about a decade, while Taylor Swift won anthology of the year and Julianne Hough snagged top new artist.
Country music’s boys’ club was adjourned for the year aback Underwood bankrupt Kenny Chesney’s four-year win bandage and became the aboriginal woman to authority the appellation aback the Dixie Chicks in 2000. The acceptation wasn’t absent on the 26-year-old superstar.
“I accustomed that accolade on account of myself and my fans, but additionally on account of added women who came afore me that kicked base but never got the accepting they deserved,” Underwood said. “I can’t delay (for) the day, which I achievement is in the actual abreast future, area accepting females in the class is no big accord whatsoever.”
PHOTOS: Click actuality to see photos of the red carpet.
In 39 years of acquainted a top entertainer, the academy has accustomed the account to a woman seven times, including Underwood. The others were Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks. Each won once.
Chesney, who absent the adventitious to tie Alabama for best amateur of the year awards, kissed Underwood as she absolved up to acquire the honor.
“He told me he was appreciative of me,” said Underwood, who’s enjoyed alarming success aback acceptable “American Idol” in 2005 with eight No. 1 country hits including the signature single, “Jesus Booty the Wheel.”
Swift, addition woman assertive not alone country music but the absolute industry, won anthology of the year for her green disc “Fearless.” Both of Swift’s albums acquire topped the 3 actor mark â€” a attenuate accomplishment today. She’s affiliated with admirers both adolescent and old for her acutely claimed songs, which she writes usually on her own or with a co-writer.
Backstage, Swift told anchorman that she “obsessed” over authoritative “Fearless.”
“I affected over this anthology for two years,” she said. “The actuality that you can address songs in your bedchamber about your animosity and boys and can win anthology of the year at the ACMs. I aloof didn’t anticipate that was possible.”
Swift, who had four nominations activity into Sunday’s show, additionally got a adapted account as McEntire presented her with an ACM Crystal Milestone Accolade for bringing so abounding adolescent bodies to country music.
A bawling Hough, who added country accompanist to her “Dancing with the Stars” credentials, thanked “everybody that has followed me from the alpha and believed in me.” She baffled Jake Owen and the Zac Brown Bandage for the honor.
Other winners included Jamey Johnson, Sugarland, Trace Adkins and Brad Paisley, but the evening’s best memorable moments came during the performances.
Adkins performed “‘Til the Last Shot’s Fired,” a atramentous address to U.S. troops, with the West Point Glee Club in account of servicemen and women. The achievement was alien by Lt. Andrew Kinard, who had been wounded. He told the crowd, “As you accept to this song, amuse accede that it’s not about the war, it’s about the warrior.”
John Rich’s affronted canticle “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” additionally afflicted the crowd.
“I’d like to address this song tonight to all the hard-working, taxpaying Americans from bank to bank who adulation this country as abundant as I do,” Rich said while captivation a guitar tagged with a “Made in the U.S.A.” sticker.
“We wrote this song accurately for you,” he said afore ablution into his afire song that feeds into aborigine acerbity about the bailouts on Wall Street.
Other performances included boyhood awareness Miley Cyrus, dancing aloft a aerial access on stage; Heidi Newfield singing “Johnny and June,” aggressive by the backward Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, about an adapted arena of fire; and Underwood in a bittersweet dress so cutting that it took up best of the stage.
“Can I borrow that?” host Reba McEntire quipped afterward.
Newcomer Johnson exhausted out veterans like George Strait and Paisley in nabbing the night’s aboriginal honor, song of the year for his agitating hit about an old man attractive aback on his life, “In Color.”
“Thanks to my bandage for activity in on an off day and bearing an off record,” Johnson quipped in a abrupt accepting speech.
Adkins won distinct of the year for his ardent hit “You’re Gonna Miss This.” The deep-voiced accompanist said the song, about how bodies appetite to abound up and move on with activity aback they should apathetic bottomward and adore the moment more, was actual claimed to him, but he didn’t anticipate others would chronicle to it. Aback his characterization said they were activity to absolution it as a single, he said, “Go ahead. Nobody’s activity comedy it.”
“I’m animated I’m an idiot,” Adkins cracked. “Thank you actual much.”
Sugarland bankrupt Brooks & Dunn’s lock on the articulate duo award, and advance accompanist Jennifer Nettles accustomed an ACM Crystal Milestone Accolade for her songwriting.
Strait and Paisley led all nominees with six. Paisley was affiliated up by video from Nashville, area his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley is assured their additional child, and accustomed the bays for macho diva of the year from there.
“I ambition I could be there but I didn’t appetite to booty the adventitious of missing the bearing of our abutting child. I achievement you understand,” said Paisley, who additionally won video of the year for “Waitin’ on a Woman” and articulate accident of the year for “Start a Band,” his guitar-slinging affiliation with Keith Urban.
Jamie Foxx alien Strait’s achievement of “Troubadour,” and joked that the country arena was accepting added diverse.
“Things are changing,” Foxx said, advertence his echo actualization at the ACMs and Darius Rucker’s success on the country charts. “(An) African-American singing country. Things are changing. Got a atramentous man active the country. Things are changing. … I beggarly what’s next, white bodies activity to Tyler Perry movies?”
The actualization aired alive from the MGM Grand on CBS