Lambert, Bryan lead Academy of Country Music award winners
By Piya Sinha-Roy
(Reuters) - Singers Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan led the winners at the Academy of Country Music awards on Sunday, while leading nominees Taylor Swift and Hunter Hayes came away empty-handed in a night honoring top achievers in country music.
Swift, 23, lost out on all five categories she was nominated in including Female Vocalist of the Year and the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year, a surprise for the country music favorite who won the award for the last two years.
Newcomer Hayes, 21, who was nominated in six categories, also went home empty-handed.
The night's top award Entertainer of the Year went to the show's co-host Bryan, 36, a surprise to the charismatic host who said he had only just started headlining shows.
"What I always wanted to be is just a country singer who got to ride on a tour bus and perform every night. ... This is the defining moment of my life, it means the world to me and I'll never take it for granted," Bryan said tearfully.
Lambert, 29, picked up four awards in three categories, including Female Vocalist of the Year, beating Swift, Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves and Martina McBride.
Lambert also won Song of the Year for "Over You," written with husband Blake Shelton, who was co-hosting the ceremony, and thanked her peers for recognizing her song-writing talents.
"As a songwriter having your songs and your lyrics recognized by your peers is pretty much as good as it gets. ... Thank you for accepting me as a songwriter and not just as a singer, that means the world to me," Lambert said. Continued...