Taylor Swift snagged her first entertainer of the year trophy at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, but the fan-voted honor was somewhat overshadowed by another big night for Miranda Lambert.
Swift topped Lambert, Jason Aldean, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban in the org’s major category. Carrie Underwood, entertainer of the year for the last two years, was not up for the award in 2011.
Lambert topped her performance on a breakthrough evening at the ACMs last year.
She was named top female vocalist for the second year in a row during the show, hosted by Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton and telecast live in the East on CBS from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas.
The Tom Douglas-Allen Shamblin composition “The House That Built Me,” a 2010 hit for Lambert, took home song of the year honors for the cleffers, while Lambert’s recording was named single of the year. The tune, which has also collected a Grammy and CMA Award for its writers, was featured on last year’s AMC album of the year winner, “Revolution.”
Lambert repeated in the video of the year category for a second year with “House.”
Nipped by Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” in the album of the year category at the Grammys, Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” prevailed on its home turf, reeling in the top ACM honor. The act also reaped the top vocal group trophy.
Continuing a record for consecutive wins in the slot, Paisley repeated as top male vocalist for the fifth year in a row.
With perennial top vocal duo favorites Brooks & Dunn now disbanded after a valedictory award last year, Sugarland prevailed in the category. Ronnie Dunn debuted as a solo during the show.
Sibling trio the Band Perry was named top new artist. Family unit had already been fan-voted best new duo/group.
Honorary awards were handed out before the telecast to McEntire (the Career Achievement Award, for advancing country music), Taylor Swift (the Jim Reeves Award, for her work in raising country’s profile internationally), the feature “Country Strong” (the Tex Ritter Award, for the top movie utilizing country music), John Dorris (the Mae Boren Axton Award, for service to the ACM) Garth Brooks and Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers (the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award) and Tom T. Hall and the late Hank Cochran (the Poet Award, for songwriters).
Steve “Bogie” Bogdanovich of Romeo Entertainment Group was named talent buyer of the year. Sally Williams of Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium was named promoter of the year, while the Ryman was tabbed as venue of the year. Paul Worley, who helmed Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” was selected as producer of the year.