Already an American idol in some quarters, Toby Keith had a big Wednesday night, too: The rebellious country star dominated the 39th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, broadcast from Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
Among Keith’s wins were two of the event’s top prizes, entertainer of the year (for which he beat out Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw) and top male vocalist (overtaking Chesney, Jackson and Keith Urban), reports Reuters.
Accepting the entertainer of the year honor, Keith, 42, said: “Wow. I always kept hoping this night would come. I want to thank the academy for voting on us on this deal. It’s a great honor to be here. … Let’s all go party tonight, rock it out here in Vegas.”
The video for Keith’s “Beer For My Horses,” a duet with Willie Nelson was named the ACM/LAUNCH video of the year, while his Shock ‘N Y’All was named album of the year.
Other winners: Alan Jackson, 45, and Martina McBride, 37, who each took home two awards; Jackson, for single record and vocal event for his “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” with Jimmy Buffett, and McBride, the Home Depot humanitarian award and the top female vocalist title.
“This is a real honor,” McBride said of the humanitarian label. “The first thing I want to say is I don’t really see this as a competition. … It’s a responsibility and a privilege to get to use our ‘celebrity,’ if that’s what you want to call it, to make the world a better place.”
Randy Travis, 45, expressed surprise that his “Three Wooden Crosses” took the song of the year award. “It’s great to be back again,” he said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been nominated for anything actually … thank you very much.”