Keith Urban took home the video of the year prize (for his “Better Life” clip) and American Idol’s Carrie Underwood earned two trophies at Monday’s 4th annual Country Music Television awards.
During the Nashville ceremony, Keith performed “Better Life” accompanied by a choir from the Gulf Coast displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
“We just wanted to present a better tone for ‘Better Life,’ and I had been down to New Orleans and was struck by a combination of things – how much has been done and how little has been done,” the Australian singer told the Associated Press. “We just wanted to bring a little more awareness back to the cause down there.”
Underwood’s wins – the awards are determined by fan votes – were for breakthrough video and female video for her inspirational hit “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” “This is my very first acceptance speech, so I made a list,” she said onstage, thanking everyone from Idol to God. Later, she said, “For my first video to win two awards tonight was amazing.”
Another spiritual, Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton’s duet “When I Get Where I’m Going,” earned the inspiring video prize. Bon Jovi and Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles won collaborative video (“Who Says You Can’t Go Home”), while Kenny Chesney won the male video award for “Who You’d Be Today.”
During the ceremony, Dwight Yoakam paid tribute to his friend and mentor, Hee Haw star Buck Owens, who died of a heart ailment on March 25. Yoakam called Owens the “best friend country music could ever ask for” and an inspiration to thousands of musicians.