Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert win big at CMAs
Singer Luke Bryan, right, and Caroline Bryan arrive at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, 2013. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Everything went to script Sunday night at the Academy of Country Music Awards until the end — when Luke Bryan pulled off an amazing upset and won entertainer of the year.
Bryan beat out some of country music's top stars, including two-time winner Taylor Swift and overall award leader Miranda Lambert, in an upset that few would have predicted. The 36-year-old Georgia native recently began headlining his first arena tour and was the co-host of this year's show.
Miranda Lambert, right, and Blake Shelton accept the award for song of the year for "Over You" at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, 2013. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
After an emotional speech, co-host and fellow nominee Blake Shelton held Bryan up and joked that he won in his "first and last year as co-host" of the awards.
Shelton shared one award with Lambert, his wife, for "Over You," the deeply personal song they co-wrote. With three other wins — including her fourth straight as female vocalist of the year — Lambert was the night's most-honored star.
"Over You," written by the couple about Shelton's late brother, won song of the year at the Country Music Association Awards last November as well.
Singer Taylor Swift arrives at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, 2013. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP)
"As a songwriter, having your song and your lyrics recognized by your peers is pretty much as good as it gets," Lambert said. "And I'm so thankful for being in this genre of country music, every single time someone's nominated, I just cheer, because I love everybody to death. So thank you for accepting me as a song writer, not just as a singer, because that means the world to me."