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CMA Awards: Miranda Lambert is country's new queen

CMA Awards night was Miranda Lambert's night as the 2010 female vocalist, song of the year, album of the year, and video of the year. Blake Shelton, her finance also took home two top awards from the Country Music Association.

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"I know this stuff is political and that's my favorite thing about it right now," Shelton said. "That's the hardest thing to do in this town, is to get people on your side."

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And people were definitely on their side. When Shelton won male vocalist, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles said: "Ooooh, shake it up CMA."

And the traditionally conservative voters did just that. Other relatively new acts with wins included Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band.

Lady A, the second-leading nominee with five, won vocal group of the year and single of the year for "Need You Now," a crossover sensation that has helped the trio's album of the same name to 3 million in sales. And Brown's band won new artist of the year. Sugarland took vocal duo of the year, and Mac McAnally won musician of the year.

Paisley, long Nashville's young gun who's matured into one of the genre's most popular spokesmen, was first nominated for the award in 2005. This year he became the face of the city after May's devastating floods. Just weeks from launching his aptly named H2O Tour, the floods destroyed most of his personal and tour gear, forcing a fast-forward effort to prepare.

"I owe this award to my crew that put this show on and take as much pride in it as I do," Paisley said. "If there was ever a year I wanted to win this one, it was this year."

Paisley, who co-hosted the ABC broadcast with Carrie Underwood, thought it was the CMA awards he's seen, and he's been watching since childhood. The show featured spirited performances by Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, the Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson, Dierks Bentley and Carrie Underwood. And Gwyneth Paltrow sang the theme to her new movie, "Country Strong."

Paisley hailed voters for their willingness to vote for new faces.

"It really showed the health of country music right now, the fact that people are making some of the best music ever in our history," he said.

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