Last night country descended on downtown Nashville for the 42nd annual CMA awards. Kenny Chesney won his third straight Entertainer of the Year award, his fourth total, which ties the record held by Garth Brooks. Rascal Flatts joined the record-tying, getting their sixth straight Vocal Group of the Year award, tying the Statler Brothers for most consecutive wins in the category. Breaking a record was George Strait, who won Album of the Year for Troubadour and Single of the Year for “I Saw God Today,” passing Brooks & Dunn to become the artist with the most CMA awards. Though no records were involved, co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood didn’t go home empty-handed; Underwood received her third consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year award and Paisley got his second Male Vocalist of the Year award and the Music Video of the Year trophy for his “Waitin’ on a Woman” video, which starred Andy Griffith.
Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles received the Song of the Year award for writing the group’s hit “Stay.” Sugarland was also named Vocal Duo of the Year, its second straight win in the category. As for the new kids, Lady Antebellum was named the New Artist of the Year, a win punctuated by member Hillary Scott being named SESAC’s songwriter of the year just two nights earlier. In the pre-telecast ceremony, Mac McAnally won Musician of the Year for his guitar wizardry and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant won his first CMA award: Musical Event of the Year for “Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)” with Alison Krauss.