Jason Aldean, Band Perry win big at CMA awards

Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:59am EST
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Jason Aldean and newcomers The Band Perry were the big winners at the Country Music Association (CMA) awards on Wednesday.

But country music's biggest night also belonged to Taylor Swift, and Glen Campbell, who is nearing the end of his 50-year career after announcing he has Alzheimer's disease.

Campbell, 75, was given a standing ovation as he took the stage after a tribute by Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, who performed a medley of his three biggest hits -- "Wichita Linesman," "Galveston" and "By the Time I Get To Phoenix."

"It was wonderful to have such a tribute from those guys," Campbell told reporters afterward.

Taylor Swift, 21, won entertainer of the year -- the CMA's highest honor -- for the second time after clinching it in 2009. Swift beat veterans Paisley, Urban, Blake Shelton and Aldean but the "Speak Now" singer was shut out of the other categories.

"I am so happy right now. This is thanks to all those fans who filled up the stadiums this year ... You have made my year," a delighted Swift said.

Backstage she told reporters, "To win Entertainer of the Year twice was like the coolest thing ever happening to me, happening twice."

Aldean, 34, took home his first-ever CMA trophies after a breakthrough year and a sell-out tour. He won album of the year for "My Kinda Party" and musical event of the year for his "Don't You Wanna Stay" duet with Kelly Clarkson.   Continued...