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From American Idol to star of country music

CARRIE Underwood captured the entertainer of the year trophy at the Academy of Country Music Awards, the first female act to win the honor since the Dixie Chicks in 2000 and only the seventh in the show's nearly four-decade existence.

"I've had a lot of good moments in the past four years. This one takes the cake," the tearful former "American Idol" champ said. "Thank you God, thank you fans, thank you to ACM for nominating me in the first place. I never thought I'd be nominated and never thought I'd win. I'm shaking. I don't know what to say."

With the win, Underwood, who also won top female vocalist, broke Kenny Chesney's four-year winning streak. Besides Underwood, the other female acts to win included Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks. Chesney kissed Underwood as she walked up to accept the honor.

Another female dominating not only country music but the entire music industry, Taylor Swift, won album of the year for her second disc, "Fearless." Both of Swift's albums have topped the 3 million mark - a rare feat in today's music industry. She's connected with fans both young and old for her intensely personal songs.

"A lot of people who know me know if you talk to me more than 5 minutes I'm probably going to write a song about you," Swift said, as she proceeded to thank characters in her songs such as Tim McGraw and Romeo.

Other winners included Jamey Johnson, Sugarland and Julianne Hough.

Newcomer Johnson nabbed the night's first honor, song of the year, for his poignant hit about an old man looking back on his life, "In Color."

Trace Adkins won single of the year for his heartfelt "You're Gonna Miss This."

Sugarland broke Brooks & Dunn's lock on the vocal duo award, while "Dancing with the Stars" champ Hough took the top new artist trophy.

Brad Paisley was linked up by video from Nashville, where his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley is expecting their second child, and accepted the trophy for male vocalist of the year from there.


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