Carrie Underwood Wins Top Honor at CMT Music Awards

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The fans love Carrie Underwood and they proved it again during the CMT Music Awards.

The former "American Idol" champ won Wednesday night's tophonor, video of the year for "Cowboy Casanova," and CMTperformance of the year for "Temporary Home" two months aftermaking history by winning her second Academy of Country MusicAwards entertainer of the year. Both awards are chosen by fanstuned into the live shows.

She was the night's only multiple winner.

"They were there before I had anything, an album, a recorddeal, a tour or anything like that," Underwood said after theshow. "They built me from the ground up."

The CMT Awards, which are chosen exclusively by fan voting, wereanother salute to some of country music's top young stars. LadyAntebellum continued its scorching run by winning group video ofthe year for the trio's crossover hit "Need You Now" and MirandaLambert taking female video of the year for "White Liar," herfirst No.1 song.

"Tonight's all about the fans," trio member Dave Haywood saidafter receiving the belt buckle trophy given to winners. "Thankyou fans!"

Lambert followed up three wins at the ACM Awards with yetanother win. She jumped up and pumped her fists as she made her waythrough the crowd and shouted, "My first buckle! This rocks!"when she reached the stage.

Lambert's "White Liar" video features the red-hot singerditching her dishonest husband-to-be at the alter for his cheatingways. It was the first time she put on a wedding dress. The secondtime will come when she weds fiance Blake Shelton.

"Let's just hope that my next wedding doesn't end up like thatvideo," she told the crowd.

Keith Urban won male video of the year for "'Til Summer ComesAround." After sending a shoutout to his wife, actress NicoleKidman, who attended the awards, he turned serious and talked ofthe oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"I want to send my deepest love to all the families around thegulf, who are going through an insane time right now," Urban said.

A few minutes later Urban lit up the stage with a scorchingguitar duel with John Mayer as the two played "Hit The GroundRunnin'."

"John Mayer and Keith Urban making love on guitars," theshow's host, Kid Rock, said.

It was one of the hottest performances in a night full of them.

The CMT Music Awards usually skew lighthearted and with therowdy Kid Rock hosting, things quickly got interesting.

The good times started immediately when he was joined on stageby surprise guest Hank Williams Jr., who rarely attends awardsshows, Trace Adkins, Zac Brown, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser,Martina McBride and Kellie Pickler for a medley of "Cowboy,""Bawitdaba" and "Good Ol' Boys."

Kid Rock called Williams, "My rockin' rebel father Bocephus,"before saying: "Does anybody realize how hard it is to getBocephus out of the house? I don't think you understand this. Theparty has just begun."

The surprises continued later when "Saturday Night Live" starKenan Thompson showed up in a green dress and red wig doing his

Reba McEntire impersonation. He sang a few lines of a Reba song,then was joined on stage by McEntire.

"Um, ma'am, I'm in the middle of a song here," Thompson saidto McEntire, who also wore a green dress.

"What are you doing?" McEntire asked.

"I'm Reba!" Thompson shouted. "R to the E to the B to the A.Reba!"

Kid Rock smoked a cigar on stage and told a few bawdy jokes,including one aimed at Lady A, "the hillbilly Fleetwood Mac."

"But I don't suspect they do drugs or sleep with each other,"he said.

Lady A was one of four hot young acts who led all nominees withthree apiece on the fan-voted awards show. Also nominated for threeawards were Carrie Underwood, who took CMT performance of the year,

Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean.

A field of 10 video of the year nominees was whittled down atthe start of the show to "Need You Now," Toby Keith's "AmericanRide," Lambert's "White Liar," Taylor Swift's "You Belong WithMe" and Underwood's "Cowboy Casanova" making the cut.

Brooks & Dunn continued to draw attention as they wind downtheir career together. They won duo video of the year for "IndianSummer" just two months before they perform together for the lasttime at the end of their "Last Roundup" tour.

Kix Brooks said the win took him and partner Ronnie Dunn bysurprise.

"We were not expecting this so much that Mr. Dunn has gone tothe restroom - in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I told you you should behere," he said to the camera, aiming his comment at Dunn. "I amnot bringing this to you. You're going to have to come and get it.This is the kind of thing that will make them think we're going tobreak up the duo."

Luke Bryan won breakthrough video of the year for "Do I," asong he wrote with Charles Kelley and Haywood of Lady A, Sheltonand Trace Adkins won collaborative video of the year for"Hillbilly Bone" and Shaun Silva won director of the year for

Kenny Chesney's "Out Last Night" and Rascal Flatts' "SummerNights."

Fans lined up outside Bridgestone Arena to watch most of countrymusic's biggest stars walk the red carpet. It was an eclectic mixwith NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, who sang "Mama, Don't LetYour Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys," ESPN sideline reporter ErinAndrews and her "Dancing With the Stars" partner MaksimChmerkovskiy, and the cast of "Jersey Shore" - including Nicole"Snooki" Polzzi, who Kid Rock called "Snookums" - joining alineup of artists that included most of the nominees.

Some interacted with fans, signing autographs and posing forpictures. Lambert, wearing a shiny sequined dress she compared to a"walking disco ball," drew some of the night's loudest cheerswhen she showed up with her fiance, Shelton.

"There's no energy like this at any other awards show,"Shelton said.

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Online: http://www.cmt.com

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