Lambert, 30, who led all nominees with nine nods, earned her
record fifth female vocalist of the year award.
"I don't know what to say. I can't believe I'm standing here. I
can't believe this is my life," an emotional Lambert said
accepting the award she has won five consecutive years. "Damn
it! I cry every time."
The Texan also won CMA Awards for album of the year for
"Platinum," single of the year for the wistful "Automatic" as
well as sharing the musical event of the year award with Aussie
singer Keith Urban for "We Were Us."
Bryan, 38, earned his first CMA on the back of five hits from
his 2013 album "Crash My Party."
"I have long sought to have one of these in my hands," Bryan
The 48th annual CMA awards show, which competes with the
springtime's Academy of Country Music Awards for prestige and
television audience, is one of the top promotional events on the
country music calendar. Winners are chosen by the CMA's 6,000
Blake Shelton, Lambert's husband, also won his fifth consecutive
male vocalist of the year award.
Hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood's show opening drew
attention to the absence of Swift, who has shed her country
roots for pop music, with a comical song about "Postpartum
Taylor Swift Disorder," or PPTSD.
Underwood and Paisley's joke that President Barack Obama not
caring about PPTSD contributed to Republicans winning the U.S.
Senate on Tuesday, drawing strong cheers from the audience.
The duo sang "Quarantine" to the tune of Dolly Parton's classic,
"Jolene", poking fun at nurse Kaci Hickox, who defied her Ebola
[to top of second column]
Paisley drew criticism on social media for a joke referencing TV
sitcom "Black-ish", about an upper-middle-class African-American
"If you were looking for 'Black-ish' tonight, yeah, this ain't it.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy White-ish," Paisley said about the
mostly white world of country music.
Kacey Musgraves' "Follow Your Arrow" won the songwriters' award song
of the year, sharing the award with fellow songwriters Brandy Clark
and Shane McAnally.
Noted for its gay-friendly message and references to marijuana,
"Follow Your Arrow" is a thematic outlier in the
conservative-leaning country music world.
"Do you guys realize what this means for country music?" Musgraves
said when accepting the award with Clark and McAnally. "Our genre
was built on simple good songs about real life and that's what this
Dierks Bentley won best music video for his hit "Drunk on a Plane."
Florida Georgia Line won vocal duo of the year, while Little Big
Town took home the glass CMA award for vocal group.
Brett Eldredge, 28, won new artist of the year.
(Writing by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Bernard Orr and Robert Birsel)
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