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"I will never forget this moment, because in this moment, everything I ever wanted has just happened to me."
TAYLOR REIGNS AT CMA AWARDS
The Teenager Wins Four Awards as She’s Recognized for Becoming the First Country Superstar of the Digital Age
To absolutely no one’s surprise, Taylor Swift walked away with the 2009 CMA Awards, which in essence served as her coronation as the new Queen of Country Music—or perhaps we should call her the Queen of New Country Music, considering the radical way in which the 19-year-old singe/songwriter has brought the change-resistant genre into the 21st century—“beating beating out mainstays such as Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban to claim country music for youth, femininity and pop,” noted L.A. Times pop critic Ann Powers in her review of the show.

“In a flash, it seemed,” Powers added, “country had transformed from the mellow ol' boys club…to a girls' army led by Swift and her sign-waving devotees, who sang along in a (clearly staged, but still effective) campfire version of her coming-of-age ballad, ‘Fifteen.’”

Swift took home four trophies—Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the year for her sophomore effort Fearless and Video of the Year for “Love Story.”

"I will never forget this moment,” she said, smiling through tears as she accepted the Entertainer of the Year award, the CMAs’ highest honor, “because in this moment, everything I ever wanted has just happened to me."

The only other acts to nab more than one award were Lady Antebellum, who got Vocal Group of the Year and Single of the Year for “I Run to You,” and co-host Brad Paisley, who got Male Vocalist of the year and shared Musical event of the year with Urban for “Start a Band.”

Noting the youngster’s much-debated issues with staying in tune, her Female Vocalist honors notwithstanding, Powers wrote “Forever & Again,” the first of her two performances: “Struggling for her notes but not showing any concern about it, Swift made a flurry of arena-rock moves, shaking her long, gold tresses as if she were Robert Plant and sliding down a shiny pole in what seemed like a defiant nod toward her friend Miley Cyrus, who took guff for similar gyrations on this year's Teen Choice Awards. By the end of this production number, she owned the night. And she kept on owning it, right down to her tearful acceptance of the Entertainer of the Year prize, which she shared with her touring band and her fans, ‘and the shirts you made yourselves.’

The palpable sense of change that permeated the event was furthered when Best New Artist went to Darius Rucker, making ex-Hootie and the Blowfish frontman the first black artist to win in that category, and only the second to win in any category; Charlie Pride was the first. Learn to Live, Rucker’s first country album, sold more than 1 million units.

The other winners were Sugarland (Vocal Duo), Jamey Johnson (Song of the Year for “In Color”) and Mac Macanally (Musician).

The night’s biggest surprise was the shutting out of breakthrough act the Zac Brown Band, who were up for Vocal Group, while their anthem “Chicken Fried” had a pair of nominations.

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