Carrie Underwood and Julianne Hough win ACM awards honors
By John Bracchitta, 04/06/2009
It wouldn't be an Academy of Country Music Awards show without Carrie Underwood, as the singer took home two more awards during last night's live broadcast of the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS.
The fourth-season American Idol champ won the only major ACM award that had eluded her for the past three years, landing Entertainer of the Year honors over fellow nominees Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, George Strait and Keith Urban.
"I've had a lot of good moments in the past four years. This one takes the cake. Thank you God, thank you fans, thank you to the ACMs for nominating me in the first place -- I never thought I'd be nominated and I never thought I would win. I'm shaking. I don't know what to say, I got nothing," Underwood said through tears.
"Thank you to my family and my friends and my fans and my record label and all the people, all the wonderful people that I work with. Simon Fuller, thank you so much. Just god bless you all, thank you so much."
Underwood hugged Chesney -- whom had won the award for the previous four years -- after learning that she had won the honor, which was based on fan voting that was open right up until the end of the awards show broadcast.
Underwood is only the seventh female act in the awards' history to win the Entertainer of the Year honor and the first since The Dixie Chicks won it in 2000, according to The Associated Press.
In addition to performing live at the ceremony, Underwood's busy night also included besting original Nashville Star third-place finisher Miranda Lambert, Heidi Newfield, Lee Ann Womack and Taylor Swift for her fourth-straight Top Female Vocalist award victory.
"It is my belief that country music makes the world a better place, and I'm so glad to be a part of country music," Underwood gushed. "All the glory and all the goodness and all the praise goes to God. Thank you so much... I feel like I just won American Idol all over again."
Underwood's two wins at the ceremony up her ACM award count to eight in only four years of eligibility.
Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Julianne Hough also took took home two awards, defeating Jake Owen and the Zac Brown Band to win the Top New Artist honor, which she became eligible for by winning the Top New Female Vocalist award.
Upon hearing her name called, Hough stood up in excitement and hugged her boyfriend -- and current Dancing celebrity partner -- Chuck Wicks, who was seated next to her at the ceremony.
"First of all thank you to my record label and my management and of course my family. Everybody that has followed me over from the beginning and believed in me," she said. "And of course I can't thank you guys enough, the fans. You guys are amazing I would not be here without you so thank you so much."
In addition to Underwood, the show also featured performances by Lambert and Gone Country star and former sixth-season Nashville Star judge and mentor Jon Rich. AmericanIdol fifth-season finalist Kellie Pickler also served as a presenter during the ceremony.