Blake Shelton And Miranda Lambert Crowned New King And Queen Of Country At CMA Awards

For country couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, the 44th annual CMA awards were a dream come true. Shelton picked up Male Vocalist Of The Year, and beamed onstage as he accepted the award. “It’s about 34 years worth of steps right there for me, y’all,” said Shelton. “This is a really big deal for me.”

Lambert, who was also celebrating her 27th birthday, earned four CMAs, including Female Vocalist Of The Year, Album of the Year (for Revolution), and Video Of The Year for “The House That Built Me,”which garnered songwriters Tom Douglas and Allan Shamblin Song Of The Year.

Lambert also got to duet with Sheryl Crow and surprise guest Loretta Lynn on Lynn’s immortal song “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” and earlier, performed the John Prine-penned “That’s The Way Love Goes Round.”

“After the night that Blake and Miranda are having, I think we can expect a baby in about nine months,” joked co-host Brad Paisley, who welled up with tears after he was named Entertainer Of The Year. Paisley had won a whopping 13 CMA Awards in the past, but never the big one.

Other big winners tonight: Lady Antebellum, who won Vocal Group Of The Year, and Single Of The Year for “Need You Now.”  Zac Brown Band clinched the coveted New artist Of The Year trophy, and Sugarland were named Vocal Duo Of The Year.

The evening also featured many notable, if abbreviated, performances. Reba McEntire kept it contemporary by performing Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy,” Zac Brown Band dueted with Alan Jackson, and Kid Rock belted out “Born Free.” And of course, actress Gwyneth Paltrow made her live singing debut, performing a solid version of the Country Strong title track, backed by Vince Gill.