Swift Claims Second CMA Entertainer of the Year Prize

By Deborah Evans Price | senior editor, www.watchgmctv.com
Posted: Mon, 11/14/2011 - 00:45

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton were among the top winners at the 45th annual CMA Awards last night at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Swift, who has traveled the world this year supporting her “Speak Now” album, claimed her second entertainer of the year award.

“To win it twice is like the coolest thing that has ever happened to me happening twice,” says Swift, who first won entertainer in 2009. “I’m freaking out right now.”
Looking radiant backstage as she addressed the press corps, Swift graciously viewed her win as a team effort. “The reason we celebrate like we just won the Super Bowl is because there are so many people involved with making something like this happen,” she noted. “I know that my band, my crew, the dancers, the aerialists, the catering guys, my family, friends and fans all over the world were paying attention to tonight and I know they were excited because they are a part of this.”

It was a big night for the Band Perry. Siblings Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry won the CMA Awards for new artist of the year and their breakout single, “If I Die Young,” was named both single and song of the year. “What’s still is so humbling and such an honor about that song and having been a part of it is that it seems so transcendent,” says Kimberly who penned the hit. “People of all different ages, all different backgrounds, all different musical tastes have just made it their own.”

Standing between her brothers, looking gorgeous in a 1905 vintage Ralph Lauren dress, Kimberly said the trio has been excited about the song’s crossover success. It was a No. 1 country tune a year ago and recently hit the top of the adult contemporary chart as well. “We sort of feel like we’re part of the country evangelism team,” Kimberly said. “We love to hear country songs on pop radio.”

The trio is currently working on their sophomore album and have been writing some with Dan Wilson, an LA-based writer who co-wrote key tracks on Adele’s 21 album. “He wrote the Adele songs ‘Someone Like You’ . . .and ‘Don’t You Remember,’ which is our favorite on 21,” Kimberly says. “I’ve always been a fan of Dan.  He’s written on some of my very favorite projects. I really had a songwriting crush on him, so our publishing company got in touch with him and he really fell in love with ‘If I Die Young.’ We got together and just really hit it off.”

With Swift’s win as entertainer, Kimberly Perry netting song of the year and Miranda Lambert receiving her second consecutive female vocalist award, it was a good night for young female singer/songwriters. “The most amazing feeling is to watch a song start out as just an idea that hits you in the middle of your day and kind of haunts you until you write it,” Swift said backstage. “Then you’re playing it in your living room on a guitar and take it into a studio get a band behind it and it goes out into the world and becomes what its gonna be. All of a sudden, this idea that was just yours is now everybody else’s. They sing it in their cars and they sing it about their break ups or falling in love. They incorporate it into their lives. The fact that then you can look out into a crowd of 50,000 people and see them singing that back to you, that whole process is my favorite thing in the world. You can really tell when someone is in love with that and it’s wonderful to see so many songwriters out there right now.”

Lambert’s female vocalist win came on the eve of her 28th birthday and she has more to celebrate this week as her new album, “Four the Record,” debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. Each of Lambert’s four solo albums have debuted at No. 1, making her the only artist in Billboard’s history to accomplish that feat. Lambert’s side project, The Pistol Annies, a trio with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, released their self-titled album in August which also debuted at No. 1.

“You hope, when you get into this business, that you can make history and to actually see it happening is a dream come true,” she says. “I worked my butt off and it’s like ‘Thank you God! It’s paying off.’”

Lambert’s husband, Blake Shelton took home his second consecutive male vocalist of the year award. When a press member backstage asked if he’d received congratulations from Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine or Cee Lo Green, his fellow coaches on NBC’s “The Voice,” he said no and speculated the show must not have yet aired in LA or Christina would be burning up his phone.
Sugarland won the CMA’s vocal duo of the year for the fifth time and Lady Antebellum picked up their third trophy for vocal group. Jason Aldean took home his first CMA Awards, winning in the musical event category for “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” his hit duet with Kelly Clarkson and for album of the year for his double-platinum set “My Kinda Party.”

Prior to the three-hour telecast, awards were presented in the radio broadcast categories as well as video of the year, which went to Kenny Chesney, Grace Potter and director Shaun Silva for “You and Tequlia.” Mac McAnally won his fourth consecutive musician of the year honor.

Hosted for the fourth year by Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert, the 45th annual CMA Awards featured performances by Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Faith Hill, Sara Evans and others. Among the evening’s highlights were Paisley and Underwood performing their No. 1 duet “Remind Me;” Paisley, Urban and Vince Gill  performing a tribute to the legendary Glen Campbell, and Little Big Town, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts joining pop/R&B icon Lionel Richie on some of his most memorable hits. Richie has a duet project with country artists due next March.

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