George Strait wasn't there but that didn't stop him from being the big winner at the TNN Awards for country music.
Strait won five awards, including best entertainer, best male vocalist, best album for Always Never The Same and single for Write This Down. He also won the Impact Award, for helping to give country music exposure through media such as advertisements, TV and movies.
Faith Hill won best female vocalist but her husband, Tim
McGraw, went home empty-handed. The Dixie Chicks were named best group or duo.
Brad Paisley won the newly created Discovery Award, given to a new artist with the most star potential. His record, He Didn't Have to Be, won for best song and video.
When Paisley accepted his awards, he paid tribute to the fans.
"I don't know why you do it," he said, "but you sit out there in 95 degree weather and you get in lines and you wait for hours for folks like us and we don't get it, trust us. It's so wonderful."
The awards cap International Country Music Fan Fair -- the annual week of performances and autograph sessions that draws more than 20,000 fans to Nashville.
Here are the winners :
- Entertainer: George Strait
- Male artist: George Strait
- Female artist: Faith Hill
- Fast track (for creative growth): Steve Wariner
- Discovery (new artist with star potential): Brad Paisley
- Group/duo: Dixie Chicks
- Collaborative event: Clint Black with Lisa Hartman Black, When I Said I Do
- Album: George Strait, Always Never the Same
- Song: Brad Paisley, He Didn't Have to Be
- Single: George Strait, Write This Down
- Video: Brad Paisley, He Didn't Have to Be
- Impact (presence in film, television, commercials or soundtracks): George Strait
- Minnie Pearl Award (for charity work): Alabama
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