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What in the world is going on here, folks?" Alison Krauss joked at the CMA Awards telecast in 1995. Fans all over the country were likely wondering the same thing, as Alison came out of nowhere to make a virtual clean sweep of the CMAs that night.
The 24-year-old bluegrass star took home four CMA Awards - Vocal Event (with Shenandoah), Single ("When You Say Nothing at All"), Horizon and the big prize, Female Vocalist of the Year. With those victories, Alison defied all conceivable odds and made it a huge night for an underdog.
She was, after all, a bluegrass singer without the major political clout of a big Music Row record company behind her. Yet Alison wound up giving the most acceptance speeches that night. As she strolled to the Grand Ole Opry House stage to accept her top vocalist honor, she cracked, "This is really weird, you guys!" After the show, Alison turned serious and admitted, "To me, the nominations were exciting - I'm still not over that. It's a pretty nice feeling when people like what you do."
Also feeling good that evening were Vince Gill, who took his fifth straight Male Vocalist award, and Alan Jackson, named Entertainer of the Year.