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Ex-'Idol' finalist Kellie Pickler claims three 2008 CMT Music Awards


By Christopher Rocchio, 04/15/2008 

Kellie Pickler's mantle will no longer be bare.

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The former American Idol fifth-season finalist won three awards at last night's live 2008 CMT Music Awards ceremony, taking home a trophy in every category she received a nomination in.  Pickler accepted the accolades via satellite from Scottsdale, AZ, where she had a concert.

"Thank you American Idol, you are the rocket that launched my career," said Pickler, according to The Associated Press. 

Pickler won Performance of the Year for her performance of "I Wonder" at the 41st annual CMA Awards ceremony last November; netted Tearjerker Video of the Year for the music video for "I Wonder;" and also took home the Breakthrough Video of the Year honor for "I Wonder."

"I Wonder" centers on Pickler's estranged mother -- who abandoned her when she was 2-years-old -- and she was emotional throughout her CMA Awards performance of it.  She left Nashville's Sommet Center stage in tears, speaking the last line of the song instead of singing it.

Pickler had previously been nominated for last year's CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year award for "Red High Heels;" received a 2007 Academy of Country Music nod for Top New Female Vocalist of the Year; and was also nominated for the 2007 Country Music Association's Horizon Award.  However she didn't win any of them.

Other Idol alumni who received 2008 CMT nominations but failed to win were fourth-season champ Carrie Underwood's "Wasted" for Video of the Year and "So Small" for Female Video of the Year; original champ Kelly Clarkson for her "Because of You" duet with Reba McEntire in the Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year categories; and fifth-season finalist Bucky Covington in the Breakthrough Video of the Year category.

"There are so many American Idol alum here that I feel this is a reunion and I'm a proud mom," Idol judge Paula Abdul said prior to introducing Tim McGraw and Faith Hill for their performance of "I Need You," according to The AP.

Other former Idol finalists in attendance included third-season runner-up Diana DeGarmo and sixth-season fifth-place finisher Phil Stacey.

In addition to Pickler, The Celebrity Apprentice runner-up Trace Adkins was also a winner at last night's ceremony as he claimed the Male Video of the Year award for "I Got My Game On."




(Photo credit Fox)


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