NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Top40 Charts/ Big Machine Records)
Taylor Swift was the big winner at last night's 45th Annual CMA Awards ceremony, taking home Country music's highest honor, the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award, for the second time. The top prize, Taylor's sixth CMA Award, completes a Triple Crown of major award wins this year for Taylor, who is Billboard's 2011 Woman of the Year and also the Academy of Country Music's reigning Entertainer of the Year.
Entertainment Weekly called Taylor's win "undeniably deserved," saying, "when it came to singing solo, accompanying herself on guitar, Taylor Swift's performance of 'Ours' achieved an effortless intimacy that reminded you all over again why she's such a big star."
Taylor is only the second woman in history, along with Barbara
Mandrell, to twice win CMA Entertainer of the Year. And, she did it at age 21.
In addition to Taylor and Barbara
Mandrell, only seven other artists in the 45-year history of the CMA Awards have won the coveted top prize more than once: Alabama, Hank Williams Jr., George
Strait, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson
and Kenny Chesney. Taylor was this year's only female nominee in the Entertainer of the Year category.
"She's inspired legions of young girls to take up guitar and write their own songs, and she has spread the gospel of country music to the Far East, filling stadiums like few others can," theAssociated Press wrote of Taylor's big repeat CMA win. "She crossed the 20 million mark in album sales and has almost no rival in the genre when it comes to bringing converts over the wall.
"She's made all that headway on the strength of her songs. She loves nothing better than the process of turning inspiration into something that makes a connection with people all over the planet."
"All of the sudden this idea that was just yours is now everybody else's, and they sing it in their cars and sing it about their breakups or falling in love, and they incorporate it into their lives," Taylor said, talking about her songwriting in the backstage press room after the show.
Taylor has spent this year on her SPEAK NOW WORLD TOUR in support of her 5+ million-selling Speak Now album, playing to capacity crowds in stadiums and arenas over 98 shows in 17 countries spanning three continents. When Taylor was first crowned Entertainer of the Year in 2009, the year she launched her breakout FEARLESS headlining tour, she was the first female artist in a decade to take the trophy.
The North American leg of Taylor's SPEAK NOW WORLD TOUR wraps later this month with two sold-out shows at Madison Square
Garden, and the tour has been extended into 2012 with shows in Australia and New Zealand.
During the course of her tour, Taylor has been joined onstage by several surprise guest artists, and Taylor thanked each of them by name from the stage last night, acknowledging every artist who "out of the goodness of their hearts, showed up and performed for the fans at my show." She also gave a big shout out to "all the fans who filled up those stadiums and arenas all over the world this year!"
SPEAK NOW WORLD TOUR - LIVE, CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray sets of Taylor's 2011 concert, will be available in stores and at online retailers on November 21st. Sold as a CD/DVD or CD/Blu-ray combo-pak, the set will be released on Big Machine Records.