Sara Kauss, ABC
Blake Shelton leads the pack of 2012 winners with three trophies to add to his mantle. The country powerhouse and coach of "The Voice" shared his first win with wife Miranda Lambert, as co-writers of her touching single, "Over You," which was inspired by Blake's older brother who died in a car accident more than twenty years ago.
"Later in life when I decided I wanted to be a country singer, my dad always told me, 'Son, you should write a song about your brother," Blake said upon accepting their trophy. "I lost my dad in January, and it's amazing to me that tonight, even after he's gone, he's still right! I just needed the right person to sing this song with and the right person to sing it."
That person, Miranda, left the acceptance speech up to her husband, as she was too emotional to speak, tears welling in her eyes.
Next, Blake held onto his reign as Male Vocalist of the Year, winning that honor for the third year in a row. And for the first time in his career, the Oklahoma native won the CMA's top honor, Entertainer of the Year -- beating stiff competition in the category: Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney and 2010-2011 Entertainer champ, Taylor Swift.
(See a full list of 2012 CMA Awards winners below.)
"Entertainer of the Year? What are you talking about?!" Blake exclaimed upon accepting Entertainer honors. "When I moved to Nashville in 1994, I had two goals: one was to someday have a gold record and one was to someday be a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Entertainer of the Year ... what is this? I know I'm not out there on the road as much, so I don't know how this happened but I freakin' love it. I try to represent country music as best I can with everything I do, whether it's television, 'its touring, it's a lot of things. I love country music more than anybody in this room."
- Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton
- Taylor Swift
- Carrie Underwood
- Keith Urban
- Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
- Jason Aldean and Wife Jessica
- Hayden Panettiere
- Lady Antebellum
- Caroline and Luke Bryan
- Martina McBride
- The Band Perry
- Hunter Hayes
- Reba McEntire
- Dierks Bentley
- Jana Kramer
- Jake Owen and Wife Lacey
- Lee Brice and fiance Sara Reeveley
- Shawn Johnson
- Lauren Alaina
- Taylor Swift's Fashion Evolution
- May 2006: Academy of Country Music Awards
- Nov. 2006: Country Music Association Awards
- Dec. 2007: Grammy Nominations
- Dec. 2007: Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting
- May 2008: ACMs
- April 2009: ACM Artist of the Decade
- Sept. 2009: MTV Video Music Awards
- Aug. 2009: Fearless Tour
- Nov. 2010: American Music Awards
- Nov. 2010: CMT Artists of the Year
- April 2011: ACM Awards
- April 2012: ACM Awards
- May 2012: Billboard Music Awards
- Sept. 2012: iHeartRadio Music Festival
- CMT Awards 2012 Best & Worst Dressed
- BEST: Carrie Underwood
- BEST: Kristen Bell
- BEST: Lady Antebellum
- BEST: Kellie Pickler
- BEST: Grace Potter
- BEST: Pistol Annies
- BEST: Lauren Alaina
- BEST: Luke & Caroline Bryan
- BEST: Ashley Greene
- BEST: Little Big Town
- BEST: The McClymonts
- WORST: Hayden Panettiere
- WORST: Scotty McCreery
- WORST: Hot Chelle Rae
- WORST: Rachel Holder
- WORST: Jake Owen (with BEST: Lacey Buchanan Owen)
- WORST: Skylar Lane
- WORST: Toby Keith
- WORST: Laura Bell Bundy
- WORST: Jennie Garth
- Red Carpet Attire That Could Double as Halloween Costumes
- Bjork: Swan Killer
- Lady Gaga: Serial Killer
- Nicki Minaj: Little Red Riding Hood
- Jennifer Lopez: Sexy Peacock
- Faith Hill: Rainbow
- Katy Perry: Smurf
- Christina Aguilera: Disco Witch
- Kesha: Hobo Fashionista
- Macy Gray: Billboard
- LeAnn Rimes: Snake Charmer
- Celine Dion: Confused
- Shania Twain: Sexy Square Dancer
- Sasha: Robot Prom Queen
Blake and Miranda are once again the toast of the CMAs. Mrs. Shelton is, like her husband, a three time vocalist winner. She also shares Song of the Year honors on "Over You."
The first two televised awards of the night went to two first-time winners. Little Big Town has been nominated 12 times for a coveted CMA trophy and finally have their first wins: Single of the Year for their chart-topping, infectious "Pontoon," and a win for Vocal Group of the Year. The quartet's win in the latter category dethrones Lady Antebellum from the title for the first time in four years.
"We always kept showing up, believing and dreaming ... and it happened for us!" Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild said of the group's monumental win, after 15 years of making music together.
Erika Goldring, Getty Images
Thompson Square has also upset a long-running CMA reign. Keifer and Shawna Thompson have their first CMA trophy, taking home CMA Duo of the Year. Sugarland has won the honors the past five years.
Largely considered the second biggest honor of the night, Album of the Year also went to a newbie. Eric Church's critically-acclaimed, million-selling Chief gives the North Carolina native his first career CMA win.
"I spent a lot of my career wondering where I fit in ... too country, too rock," said Eric in his heartfelt acceptance speech. "I want to thank you guys for giving me somewhere to hang my hat tonight."
See a full list of 2012 CMA Award winners and nominees below. (*Winners in bold)
Entertainer of the Year
*Blake Shelton - WINNER
Female Vocalist of the Year
*Miranda Lambert - WINNER
Male Vocalist of the Year
*Blake Shelton - WINNER
Vocal Group of the Year
The Band Perry
Eli Young Band
*Little Big Town - WINNERS
Zac Brown Band
Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Love and Theft
The Civil Wars
*Thompson Square - WINNERS
New Artist of the Year
*Hunter Hayes - WINNER
Love and Theft
Album of the Year
Luke Bryan, Tailgates and Tanlines
*Eric Church, Chief - WINNER
Miranda Lambert, Four the Record
Dierks Bentley, Home
Lady Antebellum, Own the Night
Song of the Year (Award goes to songwriters)
Eli Young Band, "Even if It Breaks Your Heart" - written by Will Hoge and Eric Paslay
Blake Shelton, "God Gave Me You" - written by Dave Barnes
Dierks Bentley, "Home" - written by Dierks Bentley, Dan Wilson and Brett Beavers
*Miranda Lambert, "Over You" - written by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton - WINNERS
Eric Church, "Springsteen" - written by Eric Church, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell
Single of the Year (Award goes to artist and producer)
Jason Aldean, "Dirt Road Anthem"
Blake Shelton, "God Gave Me You"
Dierks Bentley, "Home"
*Little Big Town, "Pontoon" - WINNERS
Eric Church, "Springsteen"
Musical Event of the Year
"Dixie Highway," Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band
*"Feel Like a Rock Star," Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw - WINNERS
"Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die," Willie Nelson featuring Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson
"Safe and Sound," Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars
"Stuck on You," Lionel Richie and Darius Rucker
Music Video of the Year
Eric Church, "Springsteen"
Kenny Chesney, "Come Over"
Miranda Lambert, "Over You"
Little Big Town, "Pontoon"
*Toby Keith, "Red Solo Cup" - WINNERS
Musician of the Year
*Mac McAnally - WINNER