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Patriotism Stars in Music Awards

November 08, 2001|Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tim McGraw was named best entertainer at the Country Music Assn. awards Wednesday night during a ceremony that pushed patriotism front-and-center.

In his acceptance speech, McGraw thanked record company executives and his wife, singer Faith Hill. He shouted out his gratitude to U.S. soldiers fighting in the war on terrorism.

Brooks & Dunn, who took home their ninth award for best duo, opened the show with their patriotic hit "Only in America" on a stage outlined in red, white and blue.

Streamers straight out of a Fourth of July parade were released in the audience near the end of the number.

The show ended with a stage full of stars singing "America the Beautiful" before a large American flag.

The Dixie Chicks and Alan Jackson premiered new songs inspired by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Lee Ann Womack was named best female vocalist, Toby Keith won best male vocalist and Lonestar was named best group.

Host Vince Gill said America needed "all the red, white and blue we can get these days."

"In times like these, we need music more," Gill said. "It's always such a huge part of our American heritage. Throughout history, music has always lifted our spirits in times of struggle."

The soundtrack to the film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" won two awards, best album and single for "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow."

Soundtrack producer T Bone Burnett singled out bluegrass great Ralph Stanley for praise, and paid tribute to two artists on the album who have since died. Those were John Hartford and James Hill of the Fairfield Four gospel vocal group.

"Too Country" won for best vocal event. Young star Brad Paisley recruited veterans George Jones, Bill Anderson and Buck Owens for his recording of Anderson's song, which defends traditional American values and music.

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