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Taylor, who won four awards including Entertainer of the Year, confessed that she did not expect to win the night’s top prize. Now, she noted, that award ranks as the greatest moment in her career. “Before tonight, [hosting] Saturday Night Live stands out in my mind,” Taylor said, referring to her stint on SNL, Nov. 7. “That was the coolest week of my life. I felt like I was a part of such a tradition, getting to be friends with those people that make me laugh every Saturday. That was something I’ll never forget.” On winning Entertainer of the Year, Taylor commented, “I’ve watched the CMA Awards every year of my life that I can remember. So, I know what this means and why I’m at a loss for words right now.”
Brad, who hosted the show with Carrie Underwood for the second straight year, felt that the second time around was definitely more comfortable. “We both just had the best time,” Brad smiled. Brad also threw in a humorous one-liner about his Musical Event win with Keith Urban for “Start a Band.” “I really wanted to win that by myself,” he cracked.
Darius Rucker, New Artist of the Year: “It’s awesome how radio is accepting me so much,” said Darius, who has had three No. 1 songs. “I am pretty excited right now.” Darius added that he is finishing up his upcoming new album.
Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles admitted that she and her duo partner Kristian Bush didn’t figure on winning a third straight Vocal Duo of the Year award. “It’s interesting because we both thought that Brooks & Dunn were going to get it,” said Jennifer, making reference to the fact that Brooks & Dunn are calling it quits as a duo next year. Jennifer added that she and Kristian are recording a new album, slated for release in 2010.