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Published: 4/4/2011

Swift named top entertainer; Paisley, Lambert best vocalist

BLADE NEWS SERVICES
Entertainer of the year Taylor Swift, center, performs with bandmates. Entertainer of the year Taylor Swift, center, performs with bandmates.
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Top female vocalist Miranda Lambert accepts the single record of the year award for ‘The House That Built Me.' Top female vocalist Miranda Lambert accepts the single record of the year award for ‘The House That Built Me.'
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Brad Paisley, top male vocalist, helps open the show. Brad Paisley, top male vocalist, helps open the show.
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Lady Antebellum, from left, Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelley, accept the award for album of the year for ‘Need You Now.’ The trio also won top vocal group. Lady Antebellum, from left, Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelley, accept the award for album of the year for ‘Need You Now.’ The trio also won top vocal group.
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Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire served as hosts for the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire served as hosts for the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.
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Aerosmith frontman and ‘American Idol’ judge Steven Tyler joins ‘Idol’ alum Carrie Underwood on stage at the 46th annual Academy of Country Music awards. Aerosmith frontman and ‘American Idol’ judge Steven Tyler joins ‘Idol’ alum Carrie Underwood on stage at the 46th annual Academy of Country Music awards.
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Toby Keith takes the stage in Las Vegas. Toby Keith takes the stage in Las Vegas.
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LAS VEGAS — Miranda Lambert won four prizes at the Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday night but lost the coveted entertainer of the year honor to Taylor Swift in a major surprise.

Swift, who had four nominations, had watched from her seat throughout the ceremony as rivals Lambert and Lady Antebellum went up to the stage. She was stunned when her name was finally called for the final prize, a fan-voted honor.

"This is the first time that I've ever won this and I'm just losing my mind," Swift said as she fought back tears.

Lambert retained her crown as top female vocalist, and her wistful tune "The House That Built Me" was honored for single, song, and video of the year at the 46th annual awards ceremony.

The award for single goes to the artist and producer, but the trophy for best song is given to the artist and composer.

Lambert, a 27-year-old Texan, went into the ceremony with a leading seven nominations, including two in the video category.

The country trio Lady Antebellum won trophies for album and vocal group of the year, and Brad Paisley was named top male vocalist for the fifth consecutive year. The award for top new artist went to The Band Perry, a sibling trio from Mississippi.

The members of Lady Antebellum celebrated on stage after Lambert, winner of last year's album of the year award for Revolution, announced the winner.

"Thank you, Miranda Lambert, for winning this last year and not being in the category this year," Lady A's Charles Kelley said.

They were named vocal group of the year a few moments later.

"The House That Built Me," written by Allen Shamblin and Tom Douglas, won song, single record, and video of the year. It mirrors a difficult time in Lambert's life, but those times are over and the song has helped Lambert's star rise to new heights. It helped her win the Grammy for best female country performance and it also won Country Music Association's song of the year award.

"Allen and Tom," Lambert said after winning the trophy for single record, "thank you for writing the song of the year."

Paisley claimed his fifth straight top male vocalist of the year award.

"This is way too many for me," Paisley said before joking, "I don't know who got paid what. No, I'm kidding, kidding. It's all very fair."

Sugarland won vocal duo of the year for the second time.

The Band Perry claimed the best new artist award moments after singing their hit "If I Die Young." It was the trio of two brothers and one sister's second win after taking home top new vocal duo or group before the awards. They were competing with Eric Church for top new artist.

"We believe that country music is the people's music," Kimberly Perry said. "And it is our greatest desire to be their band."

Zac Brown Band, up for five awards, took home vocal event of the year with Alan Jackson for their collaboration on "As She's Walking Away."

Paisley kicked off the ACMs with a little help from friends: Three members of the iconic group Alabama joined Paisley on his new song "Old Alabama," bringing the crowd at the MGM Grand to its feet. It was one of several big collaborations during the show. Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood rocked out to "Undo It" then segued to the Aerosmith classic "Walk This Way," and later, Rihanna, sporting a flaming orange pixie haircut, performed her song "California King Bed" with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles.

The show opened with co-host Blake Shelton singing a slow song to what appeared to Lambert, his fiancee. But as the camera panned in on a blonde draped over a couch, it revealed the show's other co-host, Reba McEntire in a blonde wig.

"All right, Blake," she said, "that's enough rehearsing for your wedding night. We've got a show to do. Focus!"

Lambert was the night's top solo nominee ,with seven.

Kenny Chesney, with five nominations, and Keith Urban, with three, went home empty-handed.

The announcement of winners took second place to a string of performances divided between two hotel venues, the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay. The winner of the first award was not revealed until almost an hour into the three-hour ceremony.



WINNERS
TOP ENTERTAINER
Taylor Swift

TOP MALE VOCALIST
Brad Paisley

TOP FEMALE VOCALIST
Miranda Lambert

TOP VOCAL DUO
Sugarland

TOP NEW ARTIST
The Band Perry

TOP NEW SOLO VOCALIST
Eric Church

TOP VOCAL GROUP
Lady Antebellum

TOP NEW VOCAL GROUP
The Band Perry

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Need You Now — Lady Antebellum

VIDEO
"The House That Built Me" — Miranda Lambert

VOCAL EVENT
"As She's Walking Away" — Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson



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