Country girls top the bill at awards
Carrie Underwood was named country music's top entertainer for the second year in a row on Sunday and Miranda Lambert won three awards, including best album.
Underwood, a small-town Oklahoma girl who first shot to fame only five years ago on TV's 'American Idol', became the first woman to win Entertainer of the Year twice -- firmly taking her place among country music's greats.
She was also given a special Triple Crown award for having already won three top awards -- new artist, female vocalist and entertainer of the year -- during her short career.
"Thank you God, praise the Lord," an exuberant Underwood (27) said from the stage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. "Thank you country music, God bless you country music."
Underwood's win comes just months after 20-year-old Taylor Swift was named Entertainer of the Year at the rival Country Music Awards, and she said backstage that it was a big night for women in country music.
"It's not just (Taylor and I), it's Miranda, she was all over the place tonight," Underwood said.
"There are many beautiful, strong, extremely talented women making headlines left and right and I'm just so honoured to be with them."
Lady Antebellum also had a lot to celebrate, winning Best Vocal Group . The Nashville-based trio's huge crossover hit 'Need You Now', which spent five weeks at the top of the billboard country chart, won both Best Song and Best Single.
Lambert (26) was named top female vocalist and given the prestigious award for best album for 'Revolution', as well as taking home the best video prize for 'White Liar'.
"This music is what I do, it's the only thing I live for, thanks for loving it," Lambert said in accepting the best album trophy. Backstage, she seemed to be still stunned, telling reporters: "Are you freaking kidding me? I'm completely shocked. I don't even know what to say. That came out of nowhere for me."
Underwood and Lambert kicked off the show, opening with an impassioned version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's 1970 rocker 'Travelin' Band'. They were joined for a verse by former Creedence frontman John Fogerty.