Jason Aldean and newcomers The Band Perry were the big winners at the Country Music Association (CMA) awards on Wednesday. However, country music's biggest night also belonged to Taylor Swift, and Glen Campbell, who is nearing the end of his 50-year career after announcing he has Alzheimer's disease.
Taylor Swift, 21, won entertainer of the year -- the CMA's highest honor -- for the second time after clinching it in 2009. Swift beat veterans Paisley, Urban, Blake Shelton and Aldean but the "Speak Now" singer was shut out of the other categories.
"I am so happy right now. This is thanks to all those fans who filled up the stadiums this year ... You have made my year," a delighted Swift said.
Backstage she told reporters, "To win Entertainer of the Year twice was like the coolest thing ever happening to me, happening twice."
Aldean, 34, took home his first-ever CMA trophies after a breakthrough year and a sell-out tour. He won album of the year for "My Kinda Party" and musical event of the year for his "Don't You Wanna Stay" duet with Kelly Clarkson.
"It's crazy. I feel like with the success of the song that we had with Kelly I felt we had a decent shot with winning award for that song, but as far as album of the year goes, that is something that wasn't expected at all. To pull that in was cool," Aldean told reporters backstage.
Campbell, 75, was given a standing ovation as he took the stage after a tribute by Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, who performed a medley of his three biggest hits -- "Wichita Linesman," "Galveston" and "By the Time I Get To Phoenix."
"It was wonderful to have such a tribute from those guys," Campbell told reporters afterward.
The Band Perry won two awards, for best new artist and single of the year for "If I Die Young," while Kimberly Perry received song of the year for that tune.
The CMA also added to the ascendancy of singer-songwriter Blake Shelton, who married Miranda Lambert last summer, awarding him its male vocalist and her female vocalist awards, both for a second year in a row. Sugarland scored again for country duo, the fifth consecutive win for group members Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, and Lady Antebellum collected its third straight win as vocal group of the year.