In a twist few saw coming, Ray Price and Connie Smith were the big winners at last night’s first annual American Country Awards, broadcast live from Las Vegas on FOX.
Besting Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, and Jewel in the Female Artist of the Year category, Smith was not on hand to accept her prize, being just then performing in Branson, Missouri. Accepting on her behalf, Julianne Hough commented: “Thanks so much to all the fans who made this possible. This woman has been making great music for so long… ‘I Never Promised You a Rose Garden’ has always been one of my favorites. God bless Carnie Smith!”
Price, who by his own admission had only attended in hopes of seeing Gloriana perform, was visibly stunned to hear his name called in both the Artist of the Year and Male Artist of the Year categories. “Well, this is quite a surprise,” remarked the singer, his still-resonant voice issuing from a slight, wrinkled frame. “I mean, I haven’t even released a new album in the past few years, but I guess the fans know what they like.”
“It’s especially great to win at a show as classy and well-orchestrated as this one. FOX has really outdone themselves…” said Price, trailing off as Jason Aldean took the stage behind him, singing for thirty seconds before his performance cut abruptly to a headshot of Jeff Dunham superimposed over a commercial already in progress.
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