Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band Win Grammys

Taylor Swift, Little Big Town Also Collect Trophies

Carrie Underwood , the Zac Brown Band and Taylor Swift added Grammys to their collection on Sunday night (Feb. 10) in Los Angeles. In addition, Little Big Town marked their first Grammy win.

Underwood won her Grammy for “Blown Away” in the category of best country solo performance, while Zac Brown Band earned the best country album trophy for Uncaged.

“Country music has always been so good to me, and I thank the good Lord that I’m a part of such a wonderful, talented, amazing family. There are a lot of people to be thankful for,” said Underwood, who listed a number of business associates in her acceptance speech. “The fans who have been coming out and watching us put on shows and supporting all of us, you guys are the reason we get to do what we do. My family and my amazing, perfect husband, Mike. This is really glory to God. Thank you so much,” she added.

The victory brings Underwood’s career Grammy total to six. In past years, she collected trophies for best new artist, best female country performance (“Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Before He Cheats” and “Last Name” ) and best country collaboration with vocals for “I Told You So” with Randy Travis .

Speaking on behalf of the band, Brown said, “I want to thank all of the people that help us to do what we do, all of our whole team. I want to thank country radio. … To all my guys who have always backed me up and backed my playing no matter what it was. Much love to everyone who supports us. Thank you all. The fans, our families — we love you.”

Like Underwood, Brown is a past winner in the best new artist category as well as best country collaboration for “As She’s Walking Away” with Alan Jackson .

This year’s best new artist trophy was presented to Fun., edging out Alabama Shakes , Hunter Hayes , the Lumineers and Frank Ocean. Mumford & SonsBabel won the Grammy for album of the year.

As previously reported , Little Big Town and Swift won Grammys during a pre-telecast ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Off-camera, the upbeat quartet enthusiastically grabbed their first Grammy for “Pontoon” in the category of best country duo/group performance. Swift shared a win with the Civil Wars and T Bone Burnett for “Safe & Sound” in the category for best song written for visual media. The song was featured in the film The Hunger Games. Swift has now picked up seven career Grammys. This is the Civil Wars’ third career Grammy.

In addition, Bonnie Raitt ‘s Slipstream claimed a Grammy in the Americana category, while Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes shared a win in the long-form music video category for Big Easy Express.

The best folk album Grammy was presented to The Goat Rodeo Sessions and performers Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, while the best blues album went to Dr. John’s Locked Down. Steep Canyon Rangers claimed a Grammy in the best bluegrass album category for Nobody Knows You.

In addition, Kelly Clarkson picked up her third career Grammy for best pop album for Stronger. Later in the show, she sang musical tributes to Patti Page and Carole King — two women who were honored with Grammy Lifetime Achievement awards. (The honors had been announced prior to Page’s death earlier this year.) Clarkson also presented the best country album award to the Zac Brown Band.

Page was remembered in a montage of music figures that have died within the last year. The vintage footage spotlighted Country Music Hall of Fame members Frances Preston, Earl Scruggs and Kitty Wells , as well as Grammy winners Andy Griffith and Doc Watson . Songwriters Joe South (the Grammy-winning “Games People Play”) and Billy Strange were also featured in the montage, along with former Nashville music executives Rick Blackburn and Donna Hilley and pioneering banjo player Doug Dillard.

Although a number of awards were presented before the broadcast, country music did get considerable face time during the actual show.

Swift opened the show with a colorful rendition of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Dressed in a shiny white suit and matching top hat, the superstar shared the Grammy stage with a flame-spewing tricycle, a dancing rabbit and mimes jumping out of boxes.

Early on, Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert combined forces to sing his hit “Home” and her hit “Over You.” Near the end of the show, Hayes performed “Wanted,” then introduced Underwood’s sweeping medley of “Blown Away” and her new single, “Two Black Cadillacs.” Brown returned to the Grammy stage to take part in a musical tribute to the late Levon Helm that also featured Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, T Bone Burnett, Elton John, Mumford & Sons and Mavis Staples.

Past Grammy winners Tim McGraw , Faith Hill and Keith Urban served as presenters.

In addition to Nashville’s country presence at the awards show, the state of Tennessee was well represented with multiple wins by the Black Keys, an Ohio rock band now residing in Nashville, and performances by Memphis native Justin Timberlake and Nashville resident Jack White. Black Keys member Dan Auerbach was named producer of the year in the non-classical category. Another Nashville resident, singer-songwriter Janis Ian, won a Grammy for best spoken word album for Society’s Child: My Autobiography.

Check out additional coverage of the 55th annual Grammy Awards.
Craig Shelburne has been writing for CMT.com since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.