Brad Paisley's win as Entertainer of the Year at Wednesday night's (November 10) CMA Awards was bittersweet. Backstage after receiving the evening's highest honor, Brad told The Boot that he would share his award with his band and crew, who he acknowledges stepped up to the plate after Nashville floods destroyed the stage set and his guitars just as they were starting rehearsals for the new H2O World Tour.

"When the flood happened just about everything we tour with was ruined," the singer explained. "The day before the flood hit we were ready for our tour that was scheduled to start in less than three weeks; two days later we had almost nothing. The set had to be rebuilt, I had to find new guitars, but my crew pulled it together and we played our first show in Virginia Beach right on schedule and it went off without a hitch. The rest of the tour was the same; nothing went wrong. I owe this award to my crew, who take as much pride in our concerts as I do. If ever there was a year I wanted to win this award, this was it."

Brad had been up for the Entertainer award six times; this was his first win. Although he is thrilled with the win, Brad says he would have been okay if it hadn't happened. "I get to do what I love for a living, and the most exciting thing about that is I share it with a lot of people who work very hard to help me make it happen. Tonight they will probably celebrate more than I will. You win something like this, people take a different look at you and say 'Maybe I should go see him, if he won the entertainer award.' We work very hard to entertain the people who come to see us."

The former Male Vocalist of the Year, who saw friend Blake Shelton take that award for the first time Wednesday night, says the touring aspect of an artist's career should be considered when voting for the entertainer of the year award. "This tour surprised me, in this economy, to see so many fans come out to see us. I hope that us being out on the road and seeing all those faces and hearing them singing the words to our songs back to us, taking a night out of their life to spend with us -- I hope we are giving something back to our fans. I hope winning this award tonight has something to do with that."

Brad said he was happy for Blake and had hoped that his friend would win the Male Vocalist title. "I'm glad someone who's had a great year, like Blake, won this year. It may be that in this modern age, the people who vote are going, 'Okay you had that award for a few years, let's give it to someone else.' That may be the new pattern we are starting to see emerge in these days of new technology and new trends in our music.",feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=952920&pid=952919&uts=1289454527
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Michael Loccisano, WireImage