Checotah native Carrie Underwood won the top prize at tonight’s CMT Music Awards just moments after belting an emotional tribute to her tornado-ravaged home state.
Tishomingo power couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton also emerged as winners as the fan-voted awards show aired live tonight from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Underwood earned the belt buckle trophy for video of the year for “Blown Away,” the “Wizard of Oz”-theme mini-movie to her latest album’s title track.
“Oh my gosh. Whew, the good Lord has been very good to me – well, all of us in this room, for a long time. First and foremost, I’d like to just thank Him for our love of music,” she said, adding words of thanks for her fans, the video’s director, Randee St. Nicholas, and her husband, Mike Fisher, who was celebrating his birthday.
Moments before she accepted the award, Underwood, 30, belted her uplifting new single “See You Again” as an impassioned tribute to her home state and the victims of the deadly and destructive tornadoes that ripped through several Oklahoma communities last month. Backed by a choir made up of two dozen members of Nashville’s Christ Church, the superstar seemed to fight back tears as images of the devastation played out on the giant screens behind her.
After the performance, a message encouraging viewers to donate to the American Red Cross flashed on the screen. In the wake of last month’s tornadoes, Underwood made a $1 million donation derived from her “Blown Away Tour” proceeds to the organization’s disaster relief efforts.
Shelton earned the male video of the year prize for his hit “Sure Be Cool if You Did,” but the celebrity coach on the reality TV show “The Voice,” which films in Los Angeles, wasn’t there to receive it. His wife, Lambert, who was presenting the award, promised to deliver it to him:
“I’m going to take this home on his behalf. Honey, I’m drinking for two tonight! I love you!” Lambert said.
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