Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum rule the night at first annual American Country Awards | EW.com

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Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum rule the night at first annual American Country Awards

carrie-underwood

carrie-underwoodImage Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesAnother day, another country-music prize. Last night, Carrie Underwood doubled down on her industry’s highest honor, country music artist of the year, by taking it once again at the inaugural American Country Awards some eight months after she won the same title at the Academy of Country Music Awards last April. This time, though, she may have needed help hauling her loot to the car; the reward is not a trophy but a full-size Fender Stratocaster guitar.

She also took home five additional prizes—allotted, like the Peoples Choice Awards, by fans, not industry insiders—including Album of the Year, Female Single of the Year, Touring Headline Package of the Year and Female Music Video of the Year. Lady Antebellum did nearly as well in the Group honors, winning overall Group of the Year, Group Video of the Year, and Group Single of the Year.

Toby Keith, for one, is a fan of the public-vote concept, according to People.com: “I railed for years, when I had the energy, against the machine. You got 1,500 people voting and they all have agendas,” said the winner of the Video Visionary of the Year Award. “If you’ve had the biggest year, ticket sales, album sales, radio play and you get shut out at award shows because of agenda stuff, then the fans are like, we don’t understand, and it takes credibility away from the organization.”

Other stars with new take-home guitars included Blake Shelton for his “Hillbilly Bone” video, Easton Corbin for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Josh Turner for Male Single of the Year, Alan Jackson for the Greatest Hits Award, and Rascal Flatts with the Decade Award.

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