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Kenny won his third straight Entertainer of the Year trophy and fourth overall, tying him with Garth Brooks for most wins in that category. “I think entertaining is what we do best,” Kenny said, “and everyone involved tries to give the fans the best experience possible.” As for his fourth win, Kenny remarked, “It’s a wonderful thing to stand up here and hold this for the fourth time. There are some wonderful acts who are nominated.”
Carrie, who took her third straight Female Vocalist of the Year award, also nodded to the other nominees in her category. “It’s such stiff competition,” she said. “Everyone is beautiful and very talented––they do it all.” Carrie added that this year’s award was especially meaningful because, “We worked so hard this year. It’s a victory for every single person involved.”
Rascal Flatts was also a repeat winner in the Vocal Group of the Year category. Lead vocalist Gary LeVox thanked the group’s fans for their continuing success. “They are the core of why we make music,” explained Gary. “We love being on the road and seeing what kind of impact we’re having with our music.”
The trio Lady Antebellum—Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood––won the honor for New Artist of the Year. Hillary confided that they did not expect to win. “With the people in this category––Rodney Atkins had four No. 1s, and James Otto and Kellie [Pickler] and Jason [Aldean––they are at a different level,” Hillary said. “We feel that they are established and we look up to them. They deserve this more than us.”
Another milestone was achieved at this year’s awards with George Strait’s wins for Single of the Year, “I Saw God Today,” and Album of the Year, Troubadour. George now has 22 CMA wins, more than any other artist in history.