Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Trace Adkins and Mac McAnally are among the early winners at the 44th annual CMA Awards in three categories announced prior to Wednesday's (Nov. 10) telecast on ABC.
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Lambert and director Trey Fanjoy shared the video of the year win for "The House That Built Me." Lambert was still on the red carpet outside Nashville's Bridgestone Arena when the award was announced. Fanjoy said, "I swear to God, I'm going to cry tonight. I'm so excited. ... She's such a wonderful artist, and she's so deserving. Tonight Miranda made country music history, and I'm proud to be her friend and a woman in country music." Lambert is nominated for nine awards -- the most ever for a female artist at the CMA Awards.
Shelton and Adkins shared the honor in the musical event category for "Hillbilly Bone." Commenting on his first CMA win, Shelton said, "Thank you, fans! Yeah! That's how I like to start the night right there. I can relax and get drunk now! ... If Trace were here -- and he's not -- I'm sure he would have said something like, "You better be glad we won this, or I would have whipped somebody's ass."
Guitarist Mac McAnally, known for his work with Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett, accepted his third consecutive musician of the year award.
"The guys I got nominated with are all better than me, but if this means I get to keep picking with them, then I'm the luckiest guy in the room," he said.