Taylor Swift wins big at CMAs

2012-04-02 09:49

Los Angeles - Taylor Swift won entertainer of the year for the second year running Sunday at the 47th Academy of Country Music awards in Las Vegas, adding to her ever-growing collection of show business laurels.

"I'm so happy about this," exclaimed the 22-year-old chart-topper, clinching the fan-voted laurel while jumping up and down in a figure-hugging white J Mendel gown at the climax of the three-hour gala ceremony.

Swift also gave a shout-out to Kevin McGuire, 18, a lukemia-stricken New Jersey high school student who had asked her via Facebook to be his prom date - only for her to invite him, also via Facebook, to the awards ceremony instead.

McGuire's sister revealed on Sunday, via the social networking site, that he had been readmitted to hospital the day before with a 39.4°C fever. He is also undergoing intense chemotherapy.

Raft of awards

Swift won a raft of awards in 2011, including entertainer of the year at the Country Music Awards in Nashville, and kept on winning at the Grammys in February where she took best country song and solo performance for Mean.

Miranda Lambert collected album of the year on Sunday for Four the Record, pledging "I will never take this trophy for granted", then returned to the stage for female vocalist of the year.

Her husband Blake Shelton, who co-hosted the evening with Reba McEntire, won male vocalist of the year, while Lady Antebellum took vocal group of the year - accepting the honour from 1970s glitter band Kiss.

Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson collected single of the year for Don't You Want to Stay. Song of the year went to the Eli Young Band for Crazy Girl.

Exchanged vows

Bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs, who died in Nashville on Wednesday at the age of 88, was remembered with a banjo set featuring Ohio band Rascal Flatts and comedian, actor and respected banjo player Steve Martin.

From Ireland, U2 frontman Bono appeared briefly to say how country music "reaches all the way from Nashville to my kitchen in Dublin" and shows the world that America "is not just a country (...) (but) an idea".

And in an only-in-Las Vegas twist, Christina Davidson and Frank Tucci, New Jersey thirtysomethings who met in a support group for young widows, exchanged vows live on stage as Martina McBride and Pat Monahan of Train sang Marry Me.