NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Carrie Underwood’s awesome week got off to a roaring start at the CMT Music Awards.
Miss Underwood won top-honor video of the year Wednesday night for “Blown Away,” capping the evening with an emotional tribute to Oklahoma tornado victims before taking the fan-voted award for the second year in a row. Miranda Lambert and Florida Georgia Line were the night’s top winners with two awards apiece.
“The good Lord has been very good to me — well, to all of us in this room — for a very long time,” Miss Underwood told the crowd after the win.
Miss Underwood — the top winner in CMT Awards history with 10 belt buckles, including four for video of the year — also is celebrating the opening of a Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit and five years with the Grand Ole Opry. She’ll close down the Country Music Association Festival on Sunday night. All of this comes less than two weeks after joining the Rolling Stones in Toronto on May 25 — the eighth anniversary of her win on “American Idol.”
It was “Idol” that gave Miss Underwood her close relationship with fans, and they continue to show up for her.
“It’s crazy and it’s amazing and it’s all about the fans,” Miss Underwood said backstage before leaning against the wall to chat with Lenny Kravitz. “It still blows my mind.”
The duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley won breakthrough video and duo video of the year on their breakthrough hit “Cruise,” then performed a remixed version of the song with rapper Nelly to close the show.
The breezy, easy-grooving “Cruise” pushed the duo to country stardom last year. Their remix with Nelly moved into the top five on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop songs list this week, making it the rare country crossover hit and an early candidate for song of the summer.
“That came from the songwriting gods themselves,” Mr. Hubbard said backstage after the show. “We wrote that song with a couple of buddies a few years back. It started at our house. We watched it go from the living room to the stage to the studio to the radio, and it’s just continued to build. It’s been a wild thing to watch.”
Miss Lambert won female video of the year for “Mama’s Broken Heart” and CMT performance video of the year for “Over You,” recorded during the 2012 “CMT Artist of the Year” broadcast.
“I just got a kiss from Lenny Kravitz,” Miss Lambert said as she took the stage for her second trophy. “That was an award in itself.”
Much of the early focus of the show was on country’s biggest male star, Jason Aldean. Making his first appearance as an awards show co-host, he kicked off the show by playing “American Woman” with Mr. Kravitz, got hosting tips from an unlikely cast of characters that included Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire, Kelsey Grammer, Vince Vaughn, Lorraine Bracco and Luke Bryan.
He also won collaborative video of the year for “The Only Way I Know” with Mr. Bryan and Eric Church, who were among the top nominees coming into the show with Miss Lambert.
Lady Antebellum won group video of the year for “Downtown” and took the stage with mother-to-be Hillary Scott about a month from her due date.