Entertainment behind the scenes
Carrie Underwood’s big night
Its only been four years since Carrie Underwood won American Idol, but it felt like a long-overdue coronation when she was named entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
The 26-year-old superstar beati out Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and George Strait, four of country music’s top-selling male artists, all of them at least a decade older, to cement her place as the biggest star of country music’s next generation.
She was also chosen top female vocalist by the academy and became only the seventh woman in 39 years to win entertainer of the year, joining such country icons as Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Barbara Mandrell.
“Its indescribable,” Underwood told reporters backstage after an emotional acceptance speech in which she thanked God and her fans.
“I don’t know what happened. I honestly don’t,” she said. “I blacked out from my chair to about now.”
Asked by reporters about winning the award as a woman, she pronounced herself honored and said: ”I can’t wait ’til the day where having females in this category is no big deal whatsoever.”
Underwood also recalled growing up in small-town Oklahoma, watching the Academy of Country Music Awards on television and waiting for the end of the broadcast to find out who won entertainer of the year.
“Entertainer of the year is the big enchilada,” she said. They save it for the end for a reason. You sit on the floor (watching TV) and you wait for that.”
If Underwood is leading country music’s youth movement, right behind her is 19-year-old Taylor Swift, who had the top-selling album in country music this year and enormous crossover appeal.
Swift’s smash hit Fearless won album of the year over George Strait, Montgomery Gentry — and Underwood — on Sunday night and she delivered a stirring rendition of her single “You’re Not Sorry” from the piano.
Anyone want to count Taylor out for entertainer of the year in 2010?