Lee Ann Womack and Keith Urban were the top winners at the Country Music Association Awards, held tonight (Nov. 15) at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Womack won the album of the year trophy for “There’s More Where That Came From,” plus the single of the year prize for “I May Hate Myself in the Morning.” Womack and MCA Nashville labelmate George Strait also shared vocal event of the year for “Good News, Bad News.”
Urban was named entertainer and male vocalist of the year. Gretchen Wilson won top female vocalist, while Rascal Flatts took home top vocal group honors. Brooks & Dunn, who also hosted, claimed the vocal duo prize. Dierks Bentley won the CMA’s Horizon award, which recognizes up-and-coming acts.
“Whiskey Lullaby” was honored as song of the year, with the trophy given to songwriters Bill Anderson and Jon Randall. The song was a hit for Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss. Toby Keith won video of the year for “As Good As I Once Was,” while Jerry Douglas was named musician of the year. Winners were determined by CMA members.
Among the notable performances were Dolly Parton and Elton John teaming for two songs, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Bon Jovi for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?,” Womack’s “Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago,” married duo Faith Hill and Tim McGraw on Hill’s “Like We Never Loved At All” and Sara Evans’ new single, “Cheatin’.”
Held outside its usual home of Nashville for the first time in its 39-year-history, the show was incident-free aside from the acceptance speech by Country Music Hall of Fame inductees Alabama. The group was cut off as the live CBS broadcast went to commercial, drawing boos from the audience.