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Twang Time!

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Some interruptions are more than okay. Just ask Carrie Underwood, who felt her phone buzzing just as she ran up to grab the top prize at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Who dared break into her magic moment? Fiancé Mike Fisher, texting, “Yaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!”

Fisher was playing in Ottawa, but the NHL star was there in spirit, blasting congrats to Underwood, the first woman to win ACM Entertainer of the Year twice. “The whole night he kept texting, ‘You’re going to win it.’ I’m flabbergasted.” So was Miranda Lambert, who choked up when she won Top Female Vocalist. “It surprised the crap out of me,” said the Album of the Year honoree, who called her rescue dog Cher, a Chihuahua, her lucky charm. “She’s a blessing.” Also blessed: the trio Lady Antebellum, who snagged five trophies. Said singer Charles Kelley: “This is the most amazing moment of my life. Tequila shots on the way!”


Las Vegas, April 18

Lady’s Night

“We have so much to be thankful for,” said Lady A’s Hillary Scott (with Charles Kelley, left, and Dave Haywood). “And you should’ve seen our victory dance for [pal] Luke Bryan.”

Carrie Wins (Again!)

“I couldn’t ask for anything else in my whole life,” said two-time Entertainer of the Year winner Underwood, adding of her and Mike Fisher’s wedding plans, “Family, food and fun: That’s all we need.”

They’ve Got Faith

Before singing “Still,” Tim McGraw (with Faith Hill and pal Kenny Chesney) said he hoped “not to forget any words.”

Wild Child

Taylor Swift graduated to a daring performance, rising in a cage and ending her song “Change” with a stage dive.

Country Couple

Lambert hit the carpet with beau Blake Shelton, who took home a trophy for “Hillbilly Bone.” Later she joked of her emotional Top Female Vocalist win, “I never cry, but you cracked me, people.”

Baby on Board

“It’s everything you dream about as a kid,” Luke Bryan said of his Top New Artist honors and expecting his second child with wife Caroline in August.

Ten Gallon Hat

Top Male Vocalist Brad Paisley fell into a pool to close his song “Water.”

Rookie Move

Country newcomer-and former star of Legally Blonde on Broadway-Laura Bell Bundy shared her preshow ritual: “I stick my face in a humidifier and guzzle water.”

Sing it, Kenny!

A day after his premiere for Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D, the singer wowed the crowd with “Ain’t Back Yet.”

Reba Rules

“I’m always rooting for the girls,” said host Reba McEntire.

Aussie Love

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban enjoyed the show from their front-row seats.

Matt’s Date Night

Presenter Matthew McConaughey took girlfriend Camila Alves.

Final Bow

Brooks & Dunn made their last ACM Awards appearance as a duo with their fan-picked hit “My Maria.”