MIRANDA LAMBERT made history and ruled the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday (06Apr14), earning three top prizes, including Female Vocalist of the Year for the fifth time in a row.
The House That Built Me singer became the only female artist to win the honor five consecutive times, edging out Reba McEntire, who won the award for four successive years, and seven in total.
Lambert also took home the Record of the Year prize for her song Mama's Broken Heart, as well as the Vocal Event of the Year prize for her duet with Keith Urban, We Were Us, which was handed out on the red carpet before the ceremony began.
Country music icon George Strait won the ultimate prize of the night for Entertainer of the Year, beating out Taylor Swift, Lambert, her husband Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. The latter two also co-hosted the event for the second year in a row.
Follow Your Arrow hitmaker Kacey Musgraves followed up her two Grammy wins in February (14) with the Album of the Year award for Same Trailer Different Park, and boasted, "I'm really proud to be a woman representing country music," in her acceptance speech.
For the second year in a row Jason Aldean picked up the Male Vocalist of the Year title, and other winners included The Band Perry (Vocal Group of the Year), Florida Georgia Line (Vocal Duo of the Year), Justin Moore (New Artist of the Year), Lee Brice (Song of the Year for I Drive Your Truck) and Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw, featuring Taylor Swift & Keith Urban (Video of the Year).
Garth Brooks presented veteran singer Merle Haggard with the Crystal Milestone Award to mark his 50th anniversary in the industry, and George Strait and Lambert teamed up to sing a medley of his hits, including The Bottle Let Me Down and I'm a Lonesome Fugitive.
The achievement coincided with Haggard's 77th birthday, and Brooks led the entire audience in serenading the singer on his big day.
The ceremony was also filled with stand-out performances, including sets from George Strait, Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow and Toby Keith.
In addition, a number of artists joined forces for special collaborations - Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan teamed up for a pyrotechnics and bicycle stunt show during their performance of This is How We Roll; Tim McGraw was joined by his wife Faith Hill for a duet of Meanwhile; Stevie Nicks joined Lady Antebellum for a rendition of Rihannon, and The Voice stars Shelton and Shakira gave the country night a Latin feel as they reworked her song Medicine.
Prior to Sunday's ceremony, Carrie Underwood was given the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap were handed the Career Achievement Award, and Rascal Flatts were honored with the Jim Reeves International Award for their success overseas.
The full list of winners is:
Entertainer of the Year: George Strait
Album of the Year: Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Vocal Group of the Year: The Band Perry
Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean
Song of the Year: I Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice
Record of the Year: Mama's Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert
New Artist of the Year: Justin Moore
Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
Vocal Event of the Year: We Were Us by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert
Crystal Milestone Award: Merle Haggard
Video of the Year: Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw, featuring Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
Gene Weed Special Achievement Award: Carrie Underwood
Career Achievement Award: Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap
Jim Reeves International Award: Rascal Flatts