Big 2-0 For Alabama!

Super group Alabama garnered its 20th American Music Award for Favorite Country Group at Monday evening’s annual music awards ceremony. The feat marks the most awards won by an artist. “Thanks to all the fans, all the years,” group leader Randy Owen said when he accepted the trophy. George Strait, who’s no stranger to accepting top honors, took home both the Favorite Male Artist and Album (Carrying Your Love With Me) trophies in the show’s country categories. Reba McEntire wailed a commanding performance of her current “What If” hit, in addition to picking up the trophy for Favorite Female Artist.

And newcomer Lee Ann Womack, who’s obviously no “Fool” about making award-winning music, offered a touching thank you tribute to her parents in accepting the honor for country’s Favorite New Artist. Country music’s presence weaved its way throughout the entire telecast with extraordinary highlights. While performing the explosive “Rollin’” from his earlier Fresh Horses disc, Garth Brooks played a guitar bearing a sign which read “We Miss You Carl Perkins.” Additionally, the show featured retrospective clips of past country winners, presenters and performers such as The Judds, Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Glen Campbell, Loretta & Conway and Olivia Newton-John.