Underwood Rules ACM Awards

Carrie Underwood was the toast of the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday night — with the former American Idol champion landing the most coveted award of the night.

She was named Entertainer of the Year at the Las Vegas event, becoming only the seventh female act in history to take home the honor and the first since the Dixie Chicks back in 2000.

Underwood snatched the trophy from Kenny Chesney, whose winning streak had seen him bag the award for the past four years.

And the singer was delighted with her victory, telling the crowd at the MGM Grand, “It is my belief that country music makes the world a better place, and I’m so glad to be a part of country music. I feel like I won American Idol all over again.”

The star was also named Top Female Vocalist for the second year running.

The night’s other big winner was Brad Paisley, who landed three prizes despite having to miss the ceremony to await the birth of his second child.

Paisley opted to watch the show from his home in Tennessee to support his actress wife Kimberly, who is due to give birth any day.

He won the coveted Top Male Vocalist prize for the third time in a row.

Receiving the award via video, he told the audience, “I wish I could be there. I didn’t want to take the chance of missing the birth of our next child.”

Paisley was also honored with Video of the Year for “Waitin’ on a Woman,” and Vocal Event of the Year, which was shared with Keith Urban for their “Start a Band” duet. 

Jamey Johnson took home Song of the Year honors for “In Color,” and Rascal Flatts won their seventh award in a row for Top Vocal Group. 

Taylor Swift beat out George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Montgomery Gentry and Underwood to take Album of the Year for Fearless, while Trace Adkins scooped Single of the Year for “You’re Gonna Miss This.”

Swift was also presented with a special ACM Crystal Milestone Award for introducing so many young people to country music.

The Top New Artist prizes — voted for by fans — went to Dancing with the Stars champion Julianne HoughJake Owen and the Zac Brown Band.

The night also saw performances from acts including Underwood, John Rich, Miley Cyrus, Urban and Swift, who made a magical entrance with the help of illusionist David Copperfield.

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