Stars React to CMA Wins

Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney and more stars met the country music media backstage after their CMA award wins to share their reactions.

CMA Awards Fun Facts

This year’s CMA Awards show produced some milestone moments for several stars.

  • George Strait’s Album of the Year win for It Just Comes Natural was his first in that category in ten years. George last won for Carrying Your Love With Me in 1997.
  • Kenny Chesney’s third Entertainer of the Year trophy ties him for second place in that category with Alan Jackson and Alabama. Garth Brooks, the overall leader, won the award four times.
  • Sugarland is the first male-female team to win the Vocal Duo award in 20 years. Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White were the last to pull that off in 1987.
  • Rascal Flatts won its fifth straight Vocal Group of the Year CMA. The only group with a longer consecutive string is The Statler Brothers, who won six in a row from 1972–1977.

Tracy Lawrence could barely contain his excitement upon winning his first-ever CMA award after 16 years on the charts. Tracy and real-life buddies Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw won the Musical Event of the Year award for the hit “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” “You don’t know how big this is for me,” an emotional Tracy said. “This is something we all wanted to sing. We all related to it. I’ve seen the highs and lows of the business, but this year, I really did find out who my friends were.”

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, winner of Vocal Duo of the Year, put to rest any rumors that she and duo partner Kristian Bush might be splitting. “We love working together and we’re happy where we are,” Jennifer declared. As to their award, Jennifer said, “We could feel the momentum happening this year. We feel we’re really evolving as entertainers.”

Taylor Swift was typically ecstatic over her Horizon Award trophy. “I can’t believe it’s all happened so fast,” said Taylor, who turns 18 in December. “I’ll never forget this night as long as I live!” Taylor also credited some of the artists she’s opened for, including George Strait and Rascal Flatts, with her poise onstage. “Watching the people I have been touring with,” Taylor said, “will teach you not to have stage fright.”

Kenny Chesney, named Entertainer of the Year, compared his current life to a baseball season. “We’re six months on and six months off,” Kenny explained. He added that two of the months off are often spent planning the next tour and album projects. Kenny also noted that one of his career goals is to have the longevity of a George Strait. “George has been someone that I have learned from,” Kenny said.

Carrie Underwood, who won her second straight Female Vocalist award, raved, “This feels amazing! I didn’t expect it at all—but I won’t complain.”

Brad Paisley gave credit for his Music Video of the Year award for “Online” to Seinfeld star Jason Alexander, who directed the video. “I didn’t have a lot to do with it in the idea department,” Brad said. “He [Alexander] thinks like a sitcom director and actor. He worked his tail off and it wasn’t easy.” On taking home the Male Vocalist of the Year award, Brad noted, “That’s the one I’ve always wanted to win. Seeing Vince Gill take that award several times made me want to win it.”

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