Brooks & Dunn take four CMA awards, Chesney takes entertainer award
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Brooks & Dunn take four CMA awards, Chesney takes entertainer award

Monday, November 6, 2006 – Brooks & Dunn were the big winners of the evening at the 40th annual Country Music Association awards Monday, taking duo of the year, single of the year for "Believe" and video of the year .

The closing award of the night and the one considered the biggest, entertainer of the year, went to Kenny Chesney, his only award of the night. "The relationship that I have with all the people in the back there is unbelievable," Chesney said, referring to his fans.

Other nominated were Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban.

Brad Paisley took home two awards, including album of the year for "Time Well Wasted."

With their haul, Brooks & Dunn now own a record 19 CMA awards.

"Believe" also took home song of the year, an award that went to songwriter Craig Wiseman and co-writer Ronnie Dunn.

"We're so lucky, of course, and blessed," said Ronnie Dunn in winning the duo award yet again.

"This still means a whole lot to us," said Kix Brooks.

Others nominated for single of the year were "Better Life" by Keith Urban, "Summertime" by Kenny Chesney, "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Brad Paisley featuring Dolly Parton and "Jesus, Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood."

"I had no idea, a lot of hot songs out of there," said Ronnie Dunn. "What do you say? Thanks."

Kix Brooks praised his partner for doing the "heavy lifting" with the song.

Song of the year nominees were "8th of November" by Big Kenny and John Rich, "Jesus, Take the Wheel" by Hilary Lindsey, Brett James and Gordie Sampson,"Tonight I Canna Cry" by Keith Urban and Monty Powell, and "When I Get Where I'm going" by Rivers Rutherford and George Teren.

The event returned to Nashville to the Gaylord Entertainment Center from New York City where it was held last year.

"Believe" also took home the music video award. Directors Robert Deaton and Robert Flanigen IV shared in the honor as well.

In winning the album award, Paisley said, "I never made when we made this album we'd sell 25 million copies of it. I mean we haven't yet, but I'm excited about the possiblities now that we've won this."

Keith Urban took home male vocalist of the year. Urban did not accept the award in person because he is in rehabilitation. Ronnie Dunn read a letter from Urban, 'I"m pained not being here with all you here tonight." Urban thanked country radio, his label, his family and fans. "I'm looking forward to coming home and seeing you all soon."

Female vocalist of the year went to Carrie Underwood, which surprised her. She also earlier took home the horizon award, given to a new artist. "Oh my gosh," said Underwood, crying. "This is the best night of my life. I've had so many wonderful things happen to me this year."

The best vocal group award went to Rascal Flatts, an award for which Brooks & Dunn wasn't nominated."We've had an amazing year," said lead singer Gary LeVox.

Brad Paisley with Dolly Parton won the musical event of the year award for "When I Get Where I'm Going."

Musician of the year went to guitarist Randy Scruggs.

George Strait joined the Country Music Hall of Fame after singing his recent number one hit, "Give It Away." "Who'd've thought it," said Strait, before thanking fans, his label, his band and others.

Harold Bradley joined the hall as a musician. He becomes part of the first brother duo to join the hall as his late brother, Owen, already was selected. Bradley, well known for his session work, said, "I have my own hall of fame. Please don't forget the A team, Grady Martin" before naming Pete Drake, Boots Randolph, Buddy Emmons, Slim Whitman and others.

Singer Sonny James also joined the hall.

Lon Helton's "Country Countdown USA" won the national broadcast award.

Radio stations won awards also. WGSQ of Cookeville, Tenn. took the small market award. WIVK of Knoxville, Tenn. won the medium market, while WFMS of Indianapolis was named large station of the year. WUSN of Chicago was the major market winner.

The show began with Brooks & Dunn, who also hosted the show, singing their hit "Building Bridges" with Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow helping out on backing vocals. Others performing included Alan Jackson, Gretchen Wilson, Little Big Town, Jason Aldean, Sugarland and Sara Evans.

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