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CMA Awards: George Strait named entertainer of the year

Luke Bryan of Leesburg sings "Drink a Beer," a moving memorial to his brother and sister Chris and Kelly, at the 47th annual Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night at Bashville. (Reuters)

Luke Bryan of Leesburg sings "Drink a Beer," a moving memorial to his brother and sister Chris and Kelly, at the 47th annual Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night at Bashville. (Reuters)

NASHVILLE -- George Strait was the big winner Wednesday night when he took home the Entertainer of the Year Award at the Country Music Association's 47th annual awards.

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George Strait took home top honors at the Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday, claiming the Entertainer of the Year Award. (Reuters)

Luke Bryan, who performed a moving memorial, "Drink a Beer," to his brother and sister, was a contender for the top award, and also for the Male Vocalist of the Year Award that was won by Blake Shelton. Miranda Lambert took home the Female Vocalist of the Year Award.

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Miranda Lambert wins the Female Vocalist of the Year Award at the CMA Awards Wednesday night. (Reuters)

A list of the winners is below.

THE WINNERS

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR: George Strait

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR: Blake Shelton

FEMALE VOCALIST: Miranda Lambert

VOCAL GROUP: Little Big Town

SINGLE: "Cruise," Florida Georgia Line

ALBUM: "Based On a True Story," Blake Shelton

SONG: "I Drive Your Truck," Lee Brice (Written by Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary)

VOCAL DUO: Florida Georgia Line

MUSICIAN: Mac McAnally (guitar)

MUSIC VIDEO: Highway Don't Care, Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban

NEW ARTIST: Kacey Musgraves


George Strait wins entertainer of the year.


Blake Shelton wins fourth vocalist of the year, saying "I swear I didn't think this would happen." Luke Bryan was a nominee and is still in running for entertainer of the year.


Luke Bryanperforms song dedicated to brother and sister Chris and Kelly, "Drink a Beer."


Miranda Lambert wins female vocalist of the year award.


Kenny Rogers is being honored for his long career with the Willie Nelson Award. Darius Rucker sings "The Gambler," then Rogers takes the mic to perform "Islands in the Stream" with Jennifer Nettles.


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Zac Brown, left, with Dave Grohl performs "Day For the Dead" at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville.


George Strait and Alan Jackson sing tribute to the late George Jones, starting with "He Stopped Loving Her Today."


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Taylor Swift accepts the Pinnacle Award at the CMA awards Wednesday. (Reuters)

Taylor Swift accepts the CMA Pinnacle award at the 47th Country Music Association Awards.


Little Big Town named vocal group of the year.


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Singer Luke Bryan, center, performs with Brian Kelley, left, and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tenn. (Reuters)

Florida Georgia Line and newcomer Kacey Musgraves were the early winners on Wednesday at the Country Music Association awards, one of the industry's most coveted honors.

Florida Georgia Line's love song "Cruise" beat out competition from Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker and Musgraves for the single of the year, and the band also won for best vocal duo of the year.

Musgraves, 25, took home the award for new artist of the year on the success of her album "Same Trailer Different Park," her fourth studio album but first with a major record label.

It was the first CMA wins for both Florida Georgia Line and Musgraves.

Florida Georgia Line, which has ridden the success of their 2012 album, "Here's to the Good Times," also helped kick off the awards show from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

The group emerged from the audience to help entertainer of the year nominee Luke Bryan open the telecast, singing "Cruise" and Bryan's hit "That's My Kind of Night."

The song of the year award, which honors songwriting, was given to Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary for "I Drive Your Truck" and performed by Lee Brice.

Hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley gave the awards ceremony a tongue-in-cheek tenor with an introduction that poked fun at feuding artists. The two singers also played comedic renditions of the 1975 pop hit "Why Can't We Be Friends?" by War and pop singer Robin Thicke's 2013 hit "Blurred Lines."

Crossover star Taylor Swift and Musgraves lead CMA nominees with six nods each. Husband-and-wife singers Blake Shelton and Lambert each picked up five nominations.

Jason Aldean, George Strait, Shelton, Swift and Bryan are the nominees for entertainer of the year, the night's top prize.