George Strait wins CMA entertainer of the year
George Strait accepts the award for entertainer of the year at the 47th annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Country Music Association Awards paid tribute to the past, present and future, giving George Strait his third entertainer of the year trophy on Wednesday while also awarding a quartet of 20-somethings who are helping to stretch the ever-fluid boundaries of the country music genre.
Strait won the CMA's top honor for the first time since 1990 in something of a victory lap as he launches the final leg of his The Cowboy Rides Away tour — his goodbye to touring. Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line and Kacey Musgraves were among the top winners, as were husband and wife Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert.
"This blows me away," the 61-year-old legend, whose competition included Swift and Shelton, told the audience after a standing ovation. "I just cannot believe it. You guys that are nominated are such powerful entertainers. I'm just thrilled to even be nominated again."
Blake Shelton accepts the award for male vocalist of the year at the 47th annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)
He later joked backstage, "The cowboy might be riding in again."
Swift won two trophies for her "Highway Don't Care" collaboration with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. Shelton also won two awards, including the prestigious album of the year for "Based on a True Story ..." and male vocalist of the year for the fourth time, matching Lambert, who won her fourth female vocalist of the year award.
Shelton and Lambert have been favorites for the last three years and Wednesday was no different. One or the other has been among top winners at the awards the last three years.
"We have been at the bottom before," Shelton said of a lull that nearly sank his career. "And somehow dug our way out and I'm up here talking about this."
Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley scored single and vocal duo of the year. Their quick tally was more proof the so-called bro country movement is the sound of the moment in mainstream country. FGL kicked off the show performing a fist-pumping medley with Luke Bryan, and very quickly returned to the stage to take the trophy for single of the year for their "Cruise" remix featuring Nelly. They also played the new song "Round Here."