Sure, the Academy of Country Music may have named Kenny Chesney its Entertainer of the Year, but his thoughts seemed elsewhere Tuesday night. Evoking his surprise barefoot Caribbean wedding to actress Renée Zellweger on May 10, Chesney performed his song ”Anything but Mine,” which contains the lyric, ”She has to feel the sand beneath her feet,” according to published reports.
Chesney dedicated his win to his fans. ”I go on stage every night at 9:15, but our show starts at 2:30 in the afternoon because all the fans are out there in the parking lot, partying and got our music cranked up. And I want to thank y’all,” he said, according to the AP.
The performance-heavy telecast on CBS included the handing-out of just 12 awards. Gretchen Wilson won Best Female Vocalist and Best New Artist, while Australian Keith Urban took home Best Male Vocalist and Album of the Year. A duet by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss, ”Whiskey Lullaby,” won Best Video and Best Vocal Event. Tim McGraw’s ”Live Like You Were Dying” — rendered more poignant by the death of McGraw’s father, Major League pitcher Tug McGraw — was named Song of the Year and Single Record of the Year. Rascall Flatts was named Top Vocal Group and Brooks & Dunn nabbed the Top Vocal Duo award.
The 40th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, which were decided by the organization’s 3,000 industry members, were handed out Tuesday at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.