By now, Miranda Lambert is certainly accustomed to being the belle of the country ball, but she tries not to show it. The country queen took home three trophies at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards, including a record fifth straight win as Female Vocalist of the Year.
"I cannot believe this; I really didn't expect it," said the denim-clad singer upon besting Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood for the Female Vocalist honor. "I was just hanging out with Trisha Yearwood back there – holy crap! And I was standing next to Sheryl Crow, a complete and utter rock star. Kacey Musgraves, she wrote the Single of the Year. Carrie Underwood's my buddy; she's a phenomenon."
That Musgraves-penned, Lambert-delivered Single of the Year is the musical spitfire, "Mama's Broken Heart." Keith Urban shares the country singer's third win of the evening, Vocal Event of the Year, for their duet, "We Were Us." He also shares bragging rights as the night's top winner, as he collects two trophies for "We Were Us," as artist and producer of the song, along with Video of the Year for "Highway Don't Care," his catchy collaboration with Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift.
While Urban and Lambert led in numbers, it was George Strait who took home the night's top trophy, Entertainer of the Year. This follows the King of Country's victory in the same category at the CMAs last November – both sweetly sentimental wins in that the 61-year-old music icon is retiring from touring after his current Cowboy Rides Away trek.
"I've always said I have the best fans in the world, and I heard this was a fan-voted thing, so I rest my case," quipped the legendary singer from the ACM's Las Vegas stage.
The only other fan-voted award of the night was perhaps the night's only controversial moment. The 2014 ACM New Artist of the Year is Justin Moore, a singer who first hit the country airwaves in 2008. With three albums now under his belt, including two gold-sellers, the Arkansas native actually does not qualify for the New Artist title under the ACM's rules that "any solo artist that has sold 500,000 copies of a previously released album … [is] not eligible for this category." The Academy explained that, in some cases, there are exceptions to the rule.
A grateful Moore, who stands about 5'6", made light of the situation in his acceptance speech, joking, "I was beginning to think there might be a height requirement for this award."
Jason Aldean stands tall with his second snag in a row of Male Vocalist of the Year, while Vocal Group of the Year went to first-time winners, The Band Perry. Predictable victories included Florida Georgia Line for Vocal Duo of the Year and critic darling Kacey Musgraves for Album of the Year. Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary – the songwriters behind Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" – took home Song of the Year honors.
To mark the ACM's 50th anniversary, the awards show will next year broadcast live from AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys.