GARTH BROOKS LEADS THE COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS

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Garth Brooks, whose introspective songs and rousing concerts have lifted country music to new heights, was voted top entertainer by his peers for the second year in a row.

Brooks' 9 million-selling "Ropin' the Wind," which has been No. 1 on both the pop and country charts, won best album to give him two major honors at last Wednesday's Country Music Association Awards.

Brooks shared the spotlight with velvet tenor Vince Gill, who won for top male vocalist. Gill, co-host of the show with Reba McEntire, collected a second award for his hit "Look at Us" with Max D. Barnes. Mary-Chapin Carpenter was chosen top female singer.

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Billy Ray Cyrus won single of the year for the rollicking crossover sensation "Achy Breaky Heart."

George Jones, whose hits include "He Stopped Loving Her Today," was named to the Country Music Hall of Fame in recognition of his 40-year career.

The new honky-tonk duet Brooks & Dunn won duo of the year, breaking a four-year hold on the award by the mother-daughter act the Judds, who are no longer performing together.

Fiddler Mark O'Connor was named best musician, and Diamond Rio was chosen best group.

Alan Jackson's "Midnight in Montgomery" was voted the No. 1 music video. Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart won vocal event of the year for their freewheeling "No Hats" concert tour, and Suzy Bogguss was given the Horizon Award for most promise.

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