Taylor Swift wins top prize at country awards

Mon Apr 4, 2011 1:28am EDT
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By Timothy Pratt

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Taylor Swift took the top prize at the Academy of Country Music Awards for the first time on Sunday after being overshadowed at the Las Vegas ceremony by multiple winners Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum.

The 21-year-old starlet was named entertainer of the year and was clearly stunned to hear her name called for the final award at the 46th annual event.

Leading nominee Lambert had already won four prizes and seemed poised to add a fifth to her collection. But entertainer of the year is decided by fans on the Internet and the enthusiastic young girls in Team Swift evidently took their voting duties more seriously.

"This is the first time that I've ever won this and I'm just losing my mind," said a tearful Swift, fresh from a tour of Europe and Asia. "The fact that this is from the fans makes it so beautiful ... You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. Ever."

Swift, with four nominations in three categories, earlier premiered her new song "Mean," a defiant tune that labels as "pathetic" critics of her occasionally wayward vocal stylings.

Lambert was named top female vocalist for a second year, once again beating Swift. Her wistful tune "The House That Built Me" was honored for single, song and video of the year.

The award for single goes to the artist and producer, whereas the trophy for best song is given to the artist and composer. Lambert, a 27-year-old Texan, went into the ceremony with a leading seven nominations.