Taylor Swift seemed almost as surprised as much of the audience when she won top honors at the Academy of Country Music Awards, topping such premiere acts as Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum. It was her first win.
The show included several multi-year winners as a handful of artists dominated the honors, including Lambert.
The 27-year-old singer clearly had the bigger year. She won four prizes and was nominated for seven.
But the entertainer of the year honor is now decided by fans through Internet voting, and Swift, 21, has legions of earnest supporters.
The ACMA Winners 2011
Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift
Top Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley
Top Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert
Top Vocal Duo: Sugarland
Top Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum
Top New Solo Vocalist: Eric Church
Top New Duo or Group: The Band Perry
Album of the Year: Need You Now Lady Antebellum
Single of the Year: “The House That Built Me” Miranda Lambert
Song of the Year: “The House That Built Me” Miranda Lambert
Video of the Year: “The House That Built Me” Miranda Lambert
Vocal Event: “As She’s Walking Away” Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson
“This is the first time that I’ve ever won this and I’m just losing my mind,” said Swift.
“The fact that this is from the fans makes it so beautiful … You are the best thing that has ever happened to me, ever,” she added.
Swift, who has a new album on the way premiered her new song, “Mean,” which takes shots at her critics for pointing out how she sometimes fractures notes.
Lambert topped Swift for top female vocalist. It was her second win in a row.
Her song “The House That Built Me” won for best single, song and video of the year.
Lady Antebellum picked up two awards for album of the year and was named top vocal group, also for the second year in a row.
Guitarist Brad Paisley won top male vocalist for the fifth consecutive year.
“I am honestly shocked, I really am,” he said. “This is way too many of these for me.”
The award for top new artist went to The Band Perry, a sibling trio from Mississippi.
Rihanna and Jennifer Nettles were the hit of the night with their duet in “California King Bed.”
The Barbadian singer wore a tight-white mini dress with a fringe top and a flaming orange pixie haircut.
The Sugarland star wore a black and purple tube outfit.
There were some big losers. Kenny Chesney, with five nominations, and Keith Urban, with three, went home empty-handed, as did Carrie Underwood.
Check out RiRi’s Duet with Jennifer below: