Swift, Shelton, The Band Perry big winners at 45th annual CMA’s

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Wednesday night at the 45th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, Taylor Swift was named Entertainer of the Year for the second time, joining Barbara Mandrell as only the second female artist to win the award twice. She was so unprepared for a victory speech that she hastily wrote the names of musicians with which she had collaborated on her arm with a marker.

“You have made my year,” Swift gushed from the podium. “I am so happy right now! This is thanks to all the fans who filled up those stadiums and arenas all over the world this year.”

Swift then proceeded to read, off her arm, the impressive list of musicians she worked with – pop stars Justin Bieber and Jason Mraz, rappers Nelly, T.I. and Nikki Minaj and, to complete the spectrum, fellow country stars Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney.

Swift, who has been touring the globe on her Speak Now tour, was previously named Billboard’s female artist of the year and with such a wide range of talent joining her on her tour, it is no big surprise she was CMA’s Entertainer of the Year.

What was surprising last night, at least to ‘The Voice’ star Blake Shelton, was Shelton’s second-consecutive award for Male Vocalist of the Year. It was a feat he never expected to achieve.

“I am beyond shocked! As shocked as I was last year, in the back of your mind you think — last year anyways – ‘Maybe I’ll win this because I’m the underdog– people in the industry feel sorry for me after all these years,’” Blake told Access Hollywood backstage. “Then it happened. So this year I thought, ‘Well, they’re not going to play that card again!’”

What was even more surreal for Shelton was that his wife, Miranda Lambert, won her second-straight Female Vocalist of the Year and that Shelton was presented his award by Nashville native and movie star Reese Witherspoon. Shelton described his winning the award by Witherspoon calling his name as “something from a movie.”

While Swift and Shelton took home two of the evening’s most coveted awards, it was The Band Perry who was the biggest winner of the night. They took home three awards, including New Artist of the Year, and both Song and Single of the year for their smash hit “If I die Young.” It was quite the accomplishment for the up-and-coming band who had “six pairs of fingers crossed,” on the red carpet, singer Kimberly Perry said.

Other big winners included Jason Aldean, who picked up two wins for Albums of the Year – My Kind of Party – and Musical Event of the Year for his duet with Kelly Clarkson – Don’t You Wanna Stay.

Sugarland, who took home their fifth win in the Vocal Duo category, dedicated their award to their fans and more importantly the “good folks of Indiana.” It was before a Sugarland concert at the Indiana State Fair this summer when a stage collapsed and a number of fans were killed.

This year’s telecast, packed with great performances from country’s biggest starts, had a bigger pop/rock music presence than years past. In the opening number, Shelton was joined by Kenny Loggins for a rendition of “Footloose.” Later, British pop start Natasha Bedingfield sand a duet with Rascal Flatts and pop singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson performed his song “Run” with Sugarland, with whom he co-wrote the track.

Not only that, but pop legend Lionel Richie was on hand to promote his upcoming country album Tuskegee by performing duets on three of his classic tunes with Little Big Town, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts.

To get a better idea of what took place backstage and off-the-air lists nine things viewers didn’t see. The full list of winners are listed below.

Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton
Vocal Group of the Year: Lady Antebellum
Vocal Duo of the Year: Sugarland
New Artist of the Year: The Band Perry
Album of the Year: My Kinda Party, Jason Aldean
Single of the Year: “If I Die Young”, The Band Perry
Song of the Year: “If I Die Young”, The Band Perry
Video of the Year: “The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert
Musical Event of the Year: “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” Jason Aldean featuring Kelly Clarkson
Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally, guitar
Music Video of the Year: “You and Tequila,” Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter

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