Nashville, Tenn. The fans love Carrie Underwood, and they proved it again during the CMT Music Awards.
The former “American Idol” champ won Wednesday night’s top honor, video of the year for “Cowboy Casanova,” and CMT performance of the year for “Temporary Home” two months after making history by winning her second Academy of Country Music Awards entertainer of the year. Both awards are chosen by fans tuned into the live shows.
She was the night’s only multiple winner.
“They were there before I had anything, an album, a record deal, a tour or anything like that,” Underwood said after the show. “They built me from the ground up.”
The CMT Awards, which are chosen exclusively by fan voting, were another salute to some of country music’s top young stars. Lady Antebellum continued its scorching run by winning group video of the year for the trio’s crossover hit “Need You Now” and Miranda Lambert taking female video of the year for “White Liar,” her first No.1 song.
“Tonight’s all about the fans,” trio member Dave Haywood said after receiving the belt buckle trophy given to winners. “Thank you fans!”
Lambert followed up three wins at the ACM Awards with yet another win. She jumped up and pumped her fists as she made her way through the crowd and shouted, “My first buckle! This rocks!” when she reached the stage.
Lambert’s “White Liar” video features the red-hot singer ditching her dishonest husband-to-be at the altar for his cheating ways. It was the first time she put on a wedding dress. The second time will come when she weds fiance Blake Shelton.
“Let’s just hope that my next wedding doesn’t end up like that video,” she told the crowd.
Keith Urban won male video of the year for “’Til Summer Comes Around.” After sending a shoutout to his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, who attended the awards, he turned serious and talked of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“I want to send my deepest love to all the families around the gulf, who are going for an insane time right now,” Urban said.
A few minutes later Urban lit up the stage with a scorching guitar duel with John Mayer as the two played “Hit The Ground Runnin’.”
“John Mayer and Keith Urban making love on guitars,” the show’s host, Kid Rock, said.
It was one of the hottest performances in a night full of them.
The CMT Music Awards usually skew lighthearted and with the rowdy Kid Rock hosting, things quickly got interesting.
The good times started immediately when he was joined on stage by surprise guest Hank Williams Jr., who rarely attends awards shows, Trace Adkins, Zac Brown, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Martina McBride and Kellie Pickler for a medley of “Cowboy,” “Bawitdaba” and “Good Ol’ Boys.”
Kid Rock called Williams, “My rockin’ rebel father Bocephus,” before saying: “Does anybody realize how hard it is to get Bocephus out of the house? I don’t think you understand this. The party has just begun.”
The surprises continued later when “Saturday Night Live” star Kenan Thompson showed up in a green dress and red wig doing his Reba McEntire impersonation. He sang a few lines of a Reba song, then was joined on stage by McEntire.
“Um, ma’am, I’m in the middle of a song here,” Thompson said to McEntire, who also wore a green dress.
“What are you doing?” McEntire asked.
“I’m Reba!” Thompson shouted. “R to the E to the B to the A. Reba!”