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Swift, Pickler Win Big At CMT Awards

Billy Ray Cyrus, left, and his daughter Miley Cyrus, right, co-host the 2008 CMT Awards on April 14, 2008.
AP Photo/Jeff Christensen
It was girl power night at the 2008 CMT Music awards as Kellie Pickler took home three awards, Taylor Swift nabbed the evening's top award and 15-year-old Miley Cyrus co-hosted the festivities.

Swift, who won last year's breakthrough video award, won female video of the year and video of the year for "Our Song."

"I wrote that song in the 9th grade for a talent show," said the 18-year-old singer, who won the night's top honor over Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Sugarland. "I never thought it would be on an album, never thought I'd record it, never thought it would be a single, never thought it would be No. 1 and certainly never thought it would win video and female video of the year."


Photos: On The Purple Carpet At The CMT Awards
Swift was barefoot when she accepted her first award, saying that she kicked off her shoes because they hurt. "My stylist is gonna kill me!" she told the audience.

Photos: 2008 CMT Awards Show
"American Idol" finalist Kellie Pickler, 21, won the tearjerker and breakthrough video of the year awards for "I Wonder", and a performance of the year award for her rendition of the song on last year's program.

"This is the first time I ever won anything in my entire life," Pickler exclaimed as she accepted the award live via satellite. "Thank you 'American Idol' for being the rocket that launched my career."

Rascal Flatts won group video of the year for their hit "Take Me There" during Monday's Country Music Television awards. "It's great to be able to be home and be able to do this. It's more like a party than an awards show," singer Gary LeVox said.

LeAnn Rimes and Bon Jovi won best collaborative video for the steamy video "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore." Rimes, who accepted the award without Bon Jovi, cracked, "I had a lot of fun rolling around with John in bed." Then she looked over at her husband in the crowd and added, "Sorry, honey. I love you. You're hotter."

During the show, Rimes performed her song "Nothing Better To Do" backed by a group of dancers dressed like 1930s female prisoners by way of Bob Fosse (think jailhouse smocks with garters and stockings.)

Bon Jovi wasn't the only crossover rocker to pick up one of the belt buckle shaped trophies. Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and singer Alison Krauss earned an award in the wide open country category for their video "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)," originally recorded by the Everly Brothers.

"I would like to say how peculiar it is to be here," Plant said. "I'd like to thank Joe and Don Everly for for getting me through my teenage years, and Alison Krauss for geting me through my 50s."

The show was hosted by Cyrus and her "Hannah Montana" co-star dad, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. During their opening segment, Billy Ray Cyrus joked about his daughter's popularity.

"I know what's going on here, OK. I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday ... it's pretty obvious what you're all doing. You're just using Miley to get to me."

The show opened with a skit about Trace Adkins trying to get tickets to the show and featured presidential candidates Barack Obama, John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as Donald Trump and comedian Larry the Cable Guy. The "Celebrity Apprentice" runner-up went on to win male video of the year for "I Got My Game On."

The video also earned Rodney Carrington a supporting character of the year award and it was one of three videos that earned Michael Salomon a director of the year buckle.

The duo video of the year went to Sugarland for their song "Stay."

Keith Urban opened the musical portion with "Raise the Barn" and was joined by Brooks & Dunn.

Brad Paisley's "Online" led the list of nominees with four nods going into the show. The video - which included a cameo by "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander - won for comedy video of the year. Alexander also directed the video.

Rapper Snoop Dog joined Jason Aldean to introduce Alan Jackson's performance of "Good Time." The rapper wore a black outfit and cowboy hat in honor of the late Johnny Cash, who he said was the inspiration for his single, "My Medicine."

The fan-voted awards show aired live on CMT from Belmont University in Nashville. Billy Ray Cyrus announced that CMT would give a $2,500 donation for each winner's favorite charity.

CMT Music Awards Winners

  • Video of the year: Taylor Swift, "Our Song."
  • Male video: Trace Adkins, "I Got My Game On."
  • Female video: Taylor Swift, "Our Song."
  • Group video: Rascal Flatts, "Take Me There."
  • Duo video: Sugarland, "Stay."
  • Breakthrough video: Kellie Pickler, "I Wonder."
  • Collaborative video: Bon Jovi featuring LeAnn Rimes, "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore."
  • Performance of the year: Kellie Pickler, "I Wonder" from 41st Annual CMA Awards.
  • Supporting character of the year: Rodney Carrington from Trace Adkins' "I Got My Game On."
  • Wide open country video: Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)."
  • Tearjerker video: Kellie Pickler, "I Wonder."
  • Comedy video: Brad Paisley, "Online."
  • Video director: Michael Salomon for Toby Keith's "High Maintenance Woman" and Trace Adkins' "I Got My Game On."