Carrie Underwood performs on the 44TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, to be broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Sunday, April 5 on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved
Winners have been announced for the 44th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, a star-studded ceremony broadcast LIVE tonight on the CBS Television Network from MGM GRAND in Las Vegas. More than half a million fans voted in the Entertainer of the Year category, and named Carrie Underwood for the evening’s biggest honor.
Underwood is only the 7th female to take the award in the 39 year history of this category; previous winners include Loretta Lynn in 1975, Dolly Parton in 1977, Barbara Mandrell in 1980, Reba McEntire in 1994, Shania Twain in 1999 and most recently Dixie Chicks in 2000. 2009 was the second year that fans chose the winner of the Entertainer of the Year category.
Underwood is now eligible for the Triple Crown Award thanks to her wins for the categories of Entertainer of the Year, Top Female Vocalist and Top New Female Vocalist, which has been won by only one other female artist – Barbara Mandrell in 2004. Underwood also won Top Female Vocalist – her third win in the category.
Brad Paisley won Top Male Vocalist and Carrie Underwood won Top Female Vocalist, both for the third consecutive year in a row; Sugarland won Top Vocal Duo and Rascal Flatts continues to lead the category for their win of Top Vocal Group.
THE ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC also honored Jennifer Nettles and Taylor Swift with the Crystal Milestone Award. This award is given to artists or industry leaders to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement.
Jennifer Nettles reached new heights of her own by sweeping the ACM Award, CMA Award and Grammy Award for country songwriting with Sugarland’s hit “Stay.” She is the first woman to solo-write the Academy’s Song of the Year since 1972, when Donna Fargo penned “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.”
Taylor Swift is a multimedia sensation, selling more than nine million digital downloads in 2008, and surpassed six million in sales for her first two studio albums on Big Machine Records. Swift was the #1 selling artist, in all formats and all genres in 2008, and is the first female to have five top 10 singles off her debut album, Taylor Swift.
Also this evening, Leann Rimes was honored with the 8th annual ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC / The Home Depot Humanitarian Award, which salutes an artist or group in the country music industry who is committed to serving others, has a generosity of spirit and a dedication to helping build the dreams of those in need.
Rimes was selected by a special blue-ribbon committee comprised of executives in the country music industry as well as local and national philanthropic leaders for her ongoing community service and charitable giving of her time and talent.
As the award’s winner, Rimes will have a community playground built in a city of her choice through the efforts of The Home Depot and KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
Following is the list of winners in the 16 categories voted on by the membership (excluding the Entertainer of the Year and Top New Artist categories, which were voted on by fans online):
Entertainer of the Year
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
TAYLOR SWIFT (BIG MACHINE)
PRODUCED BY: SCOTT BORCHETTA, NATHAN CHAPMAN, TAYLOR SWIFT
Top Male Vocalist
Top Female Vocalist
Top Vocal Group
Top Vocal Duo
TOP NEW ARTIST
Top New Male Vocalist
Top New Female Vocalist
Top New Vocal Duo or Group
ZAC BROWN BAND
Single Record of the Year (Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record
YOU’RE GONNA MISS THIS
TRACE ADKINS, PRODUCED BY FRANK ROGERS
Song of the Year (Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)
COMPOSERS: JAMEY JOHNSON, LEE THOMAS MILLER, JAMES OTTO
VIDEO OF THE YEAR (Award To Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s))
WAITIN’ ON A WOMAN
PRODUCER: MARK KALBFELD, JIM SHEA
DIRECTOR: JIM SHEA, PETER TILDEN
VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR (Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record
START A BAND
BRAD PAISLEY DUET WITH KEITH URBAN
PRODUCED BY: FRANK ROGERS
CRYSTAL MILESTONE AWARD
THE HOME DEPOT HUMANITARIAN AWARD
FAST FACTS ON THIS YEAR’S AWARDS: