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“This is off-the-chain, this is the Oscars of the music business, the CMAs.”
——Lionel Richie
SWIFT AND PERRY THE BIG WINNERS AT THE CMA AWARDS
We’re Referring to the Rookie Band, Not the Forgetful Republican Presidential Candidate
Taylor Swift was named Entertainer of the Year for the second time, while The Band Perry took home the most trophies at the 45th edition of the Country Music Association Awards, which aired last night on ABC from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

The Band Perry’s hat trick (so to speak) consisted of New Artist of the Year, plus Single of the Year and Song of the Year for "If I Die Young," which was solely written (a rarity in modern-day Nashville) by frontwoman Kimberly Perry. But Swift’s mega-selling Speak Now fell to Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party in the Album of the Year competition. Aldean also shared the Musical Event of the Year award with Kelly Clarkson for their duet on "Don't You Wanna Stay."

Married couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have another pair of matching trophies, for Best Male and Female Vocalist, on their mantelpiece, to go with the pair they won last year. Lady Antebellum was voted Best Vocal Group for the third year in a row, and Sugarland scored its fifth straight award for Best Vocal Duo.

Clarkson wasn’t the only non-country artist to be honored at the CMA Awards. Vermont-based rocker Grace Potter, who fronts the Nocturnals, snagged one for Best Music Video for her duet with Kenny Chesney on “Me and Tequila.”

A bunch of Nashville outsiders performed on the show. Kenny Loggins briefly joined Shelton “Footloose,” the opening number, Gregg Allman hooked up with Zac Brown Band for “Georgia on My Mind,”Natasha Bedingfield guested on Rascal Flatts’ “Easy,” and co-writer Matt Nathanson joined voices with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles on “Run.” In one of the show’s biggest production numbers, Lionel Richie—who’s recorded a country album, believe it or not—sang a medley of his hits with Little Big Town, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts.

Said an exuberant Richie: “It’s Cirque de Soleil—it’s full-on production. This is off-the-chain, this is the Oscars of the music business, the CMAs.”

Here’s the full list of winners:Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift
Single: “If I Die Young,” The Band Perry
Album: My Kinda Party, Jason Aldean
Song: “If I Die Young,” Kimberly Perry
Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton
Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum
Vocal Duo: Sugarland
Musical Event: “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson
Musician: Mac McAnally
Music Video: “You and Tequila,” Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter; directed by Shaun Silva
New Artist: The Band Perry
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