Brad Paisley Wins CMA Entertainer of the Year
And the CMA Entertainer of the Year is ... Brad Paisley! The evening's host beat out fellow nominees Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band to take home the biggest award of the night. It's his sixth nomination in the coveted category and first win.
Visibly emotional, Brad took the stage and paused for a few moments to gain his composure before beginning to speak. "My hero, Little Jimmy Dickens, said that if you see a turtle on a fencepost, it had help getting up there. I feel just like a turtle on a fence post at this point.
"First of all, I want to talk to the fans," Brad continued. "It sounds like a cliché when you say thanks to the fans, but the great thing about country fans is that I don't even mean mine. You guys are loyal to everyone in this room. It's the most amazing loyal fan base in the world."
Brad also took time to honor his grandfather, who helped pave his career path. "Tonight to me is about my grandfather," Brad said, his eyes swelling with tears. "This is about a man who loved Buck Owens and Johnny Cash. He said, 'I want you to learn to play the guitar, because this is going to get you through the lonely times, and you'll never be alone with this ... I don't think he ever thought it would draw 20,000 people. He died in 1987."
Thanking his managers, his record label and his booking agency, he then focused on the person closest to him. "My wife [actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley], I love you so much. Thank you for rescuing me from despair. Thank you."
Brad closed his speech by acknowledging those who have helped propel his singles to the top of the charts. "Country radio," he concluded. "The very reason I am standing here is because of them."
Brad has been nominated for the Entertainer of the Year trophy every year since 2005. This first win in the category marks Brad's 14th career CMA Award.
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