Taylor Swift took home the the entertainer of the year award Sunday night at the Academy of Country Music Awards, a win that was expected by her fellow nominees and fans. Even Swift, who typically displays expressions of sincere shock when her name is called at awards shows, was less taken aback than usual, reports the Associated Press:
Swift displayed none of her normal expressions of astonishment after winning the academy’s top honor for the second year in a row. And, in fact, neither did her competitors, who gracefully if grimly acknowledged her as she hugged her way to the stage. With millions of albums sold and millions of new fans turned on to country music — and turning out to vote for her — the award had the feel of a coronation.
“She deserved it,” fellow nominee and show co-host Blake Shelton said. “When those announcements came out who was nominated, I remember saying right then — I don’t think I said I hope Taylor wins because I hoped I would win — but Taylor deserves it. I don’t think there is anyone with half a brain that would say otherwise. She has done a lot for us in country music. We are lucky enough in country music to call her one of us. But I am always going to make fun of her in my monologues so she might as well get used to that.”
Shelton was likewise awarded one of the evening’s top designations, taking the prize for top male vocalist. The win ended Brad Paisley’s five-year-run in the category, and beat out newcomer Chris Young, who was among a group of 20-something nominees this year, the Associated Press reports:
While country’s biggest stars remain the top nominees at the awards — Chesney has nine and Aldean has six — youthful acts like Young and new artist of the year nominees Scotty McCreery, Brantley Gilbert and Hunter Hayes are horning in on the fun.
Young is among the most promising and popular of those young acts, earning his way with a deep voice and the ability to write his own songs. Friend and fellow nominee Luke Laird, who co-wrote Young’s latest hit “You,” thinks Young deserves the attention he’s getting.
“I know a lot of that stuff is political, but I will say — and I’ve written with a lot of artists — strictly if you’re going by vocals, he’s hard to beat,” Laird said. “I’ve sat in a room with him and I was blown away. He’s a real singer.”
Shelton’s wife, Miranda Lambert, won for best female vocalist, her third consecutive win in the category. More surprisingly, the Eli Young Band won song of the year for “Crazy Girl,” the Associated Press reports:
It was a long time coming for the Texas quartet, whose lead singer Mike Eli exhorted watchers to follow the band by following their dreams. Eli told reporters their career has morphed in incredible ways. A few years ago they were excited to score an interview in a college newspaper. Sunday night, they were dedicating the win to their wives for their patience.
More on the ACM Awards: