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BMI Country Stars Win Big at ACM Awards

Posted in News on May 24, 2006
The 41st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards provided a welcome excuse for Music City to invade Sin City Tuesday night (5/23), and there were plenty of experiences that, luckily, won't stay in Vegas.

Top Male Vocalist Keith Urban (left) shares the stage with 21-time ACM winning duo Brooks & Dunn

BMI country stars boasted both repeat wins in top slots and initiations into the winner's circle. Superstar Keith Urban took home his second consecutive Top Male Vocalist trophy, while Sara Evans earned the Top Female Vocalist award-the first ACM award of her flourishing career.

Hot up-and-comer Miranda Lambert performs

The unwaveringly eminent Brooks and Dunn snagged two awards-Top Vocal Duo and Song of the Year for "Believe"-bringing the grand total of ACM trophies for the duo to an impressive 21, including six consecutive Top Vocal Duo wins. Fan favorites Rascal Flatts kept their all-encompassing triumphant streak alive and scored their fourth Top Vocal Group award in a row.

Four-time Top Vocal Group winners Rascal Flatts perform with “American Idol” star Kelly Clarkson

BMI newcomers won big as well, acquiring top honors in all three new artist categories. The angelically voiced Carrie Underwood seized trophies for Top New Female Vocalist and Single Record of the Year ("Jesus, Take the Wheel"), while rowdy hitmaker Jason Aldean scored this year's Top New Male Vocalist title. Top New Duo or Vocal Group honors were bestowed on the fresh and charismatic Sugarland.

Keith Urban and Ronnie Dunn

Vince Gill was recognized for his charitable endeavors as he received the fifth ever Academy of Country Music/Home Depot Humanitarian Award. Gill, overwhelmingly admired as both a musician and philanthropist, chose to give his award to a young girl named Caitlin he met through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

BMI’s Shelby Kennedy congratulates Carrie Underwood on her two ACM Awards at the Sony BMG after-party

Before the show, BMI legends Earl Scruggs, Kris Kristofferson, Little Jimmy Dickens and Bill Monroe were honored as ACM Pioneer recipients. The four honorees are all Country Music Hall of Famer inductees.

The night also featured a stirring tribute to the late country legend Buck Owens. A diverse assembly of musicians was introduced by Vince Vaughn and included Owens' protégé Dwight Yoakum, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, country star Brad Paisley, Buddy Alan Owens (son of Buck and Bonnie Owens), Buck Owens and the Buckaroos' original steel guitar player Tom Brumley, the Byrds' Chris Hillman and blink182/+44 rock drummer Travis Barker. The hodgepodge of musical genres participating reflected both the roots and impact of the "Bakersfield sound" Buck Owens cultivated and shared with millions.

The heroes behind the hit songs received wholly deserved attention the day before the awards. Monday night hosted behind the scenes entertainment as the first ever ACM Songwriters-in-the-Round event lent the spotlight to some of this year's hottest BMI songwriters: Jeffrey Steele, Bob DiPiero and Tony Mullins; Craig Wiseman was also featured. The four tunesmiths performed on the top floor of the MGM Grand Convention Center overlooking the Las Vegas strip.

The Academy of Country Music was founded in 1964 with a mission to support, promote and enhance the advancement of the country music industry worldwide. The Academy, which is comprised of more than 4,000 professional members and more than 35,000 associate members, is headquartered in Burbank, Calif.

BMI's 41st Annual ACM Winners:

Top Male Vocalist
Keith Urban

Top Female Vocalist
Sara Evans

Top Vocal Group
Rascal Flatts

Top Vocal Duo
Brooks & Dunn

Top New Male Vocalist
Jason Aldean

Top New Female Vocalist
Carrie Underwood

Top New Duo or Vocal Group
Sugarland

Song of the Year
"Believe"
Brooks & Dunn
Ronnie Dunn, writer
Sony/ATV Tree Publishing Co. and Showbilly Music

Vocal Event Of The Year
When I Get Where I’m Going
Dolly Parton

Video Of The Year
When I Get Where I’m Going
Dolly Parton

Audio Engineer of the Year
Justin Niebank

Fiddle Player of the Year
Jonathan Yudkin