Birthday girl Lambert is top female vocalist, fiancé Blake Shelton wins for male; Brad Paisley is entertainer of the year
Now, that’s a party!
She won for top female vocalist and album of the year for Revolution, and her single “The House That Built Me” was honored for both song and video of the year. Keeping the victories close to home, her fiancé, Blake Shelton, won for male vocalist of the year.
After her female vocalist award was announced by country music legend Loretta Lynn, a tearful Lambert said, “The woman that paved the way for all females, ever, in country music is standing here beside me and handed me this award … I’m going to keep going for the other women in this industry.”
In the end, though, the night’s top honor went to the show’s host, Brad Paisley, who was named entertainer of the year for the first time.
Getting choked up, the singer praised his late grandfather in his speech, thanked his wife for “rescuing me from despair” and paid tribute to country music fans.
“It sounds like a cliché when you say thanks to the fans [and] I don’t even mean mine. You guys are loyal to everyone in this room. It’s the most amazing fan base in the world.”
Earlier, Lambert, who turned 27 on Wednesday, hugged Shelton before he stepped on stage to accept his trophy.
“It’s about 34 years worth of steps right there for me, y’all,” Shelton said. “This is a really big deal for me. ”
Other winners included Lady Antebellum, who got single of the year for their ubiquitous “Need You Now.” The five-time nominees also later won vocal group of the year. And the Zac Brown Band was named new artist of the year.
Hosts Carrie Underwood and Paisley presided over the three hour telecast with a light and comic touch, parodying pop culture moments and fellow nominees.
The show was also marked by a dizzying array of performances, including a tribute to Loretta Lynn delivered by Sheryl Crow and Lambert, an emotionally-charged cover of Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy” by Reba McEntire and Gwyneth Paltrow‘s country music debut.