Among those he edged out were two-time champ Taylor Swift, who was hoping to become the first woman in the history of these awards to take this top honor thrice; she had to settle for sharing the award for Best Video.
However, she fared better than two of the other Entertainer of the Year nominees — reigning champ Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton — who presided over these kudos but went home without any awards despite three and five bids respectively.
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While Shelton’s wife Miranda Lambert also lost the big race, she claimed Female Vocalist for the fifth year in a row (breaking a tie with Reba McEntire who began her record run in 1984). Lambert also won Record of the Year for “Mama’s Broken Heart.” She had taken both Record and Song of the Year last year for “Over You” but this year’s songwriting prize went to the trio of tunesmiths who crafted “I Drive Your Truck” for Lee Brice.
Jason Aldean repeated as Male Vocalist champ despite it being his only bid at these kudos this year.
Newcomer Kacey Musgraves won Album of the Year for “Same Trailer Different Park.”
While Keith Urban did not win any awards for his solo efforts, his collaboration with Miranda Lambert on “We Were Us” was named Vocal Collaboration of the Year while his work with Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift on “Highway Don’t Care” took the Video prize. This was the only win for both McGraw, who had seven bids in all, and Swift who came into the evening as a contender in five races.