Carrie Underwood's awesome week got off to a roaring start at the CMT Music Awards.
Underwood won top honor video of the year Wednesday night for Blown Away, capping the evening with an emotional tribute to Oklahoma tornado victims before taking the fan-voted award for the second year in a row. Miranda Lambert and Florida Georgia Line were the night's top winners with two awards apiece.
The night belonged to Lambert and FGL before Underwood's flourish at the finish.
The duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley won breakthrough video and duo video of the year on their breakthrough hit Cruise, then performed a remixed version of the song with rapper Nelly to close the show.
The breezy, easy-grooving Cruise pushed the duo to country stardom last year. Their remix with Nelly moved into the top five on Billboard's Hot 100 pop songs list this week, making it the rare country crossover hit and an early candidate for song of the summer.
Lambert won female video of the year for Mama's Broken Heart and CMT performance video of the year for Over You, recorded during the 2012 CMT Artist of the Year broadcast.
Much of the early focus of the show was on country's biggest male star, Jason Aldean. Making his first appearance as an awards show co-host, he kicked off the show by playing American Woman with Kravitz, got hosting tips from an unlikely cast of characters that included Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire, Kelsey Grammer, Vince Vaughn, Lorraine Bracco and Luke Bryan.
He also won collaborative video of the year for The Only Way I Know with Bryan and Church, who were among the top nominees coming into the show with Lambert.
Lady Antebellum won group video of the year for Downtown and took the stage with mother-to-be Hillary Scott about a month from her due date.
Lambert's husband Blake Shelton won male video of the year for Sure Be Cool If You Did — an award presented by Lambert.
Nicole Kidman with husband Keith Urban joined in as Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum led the crowd at Bridgestone Arena in a Wagon Wheel sing-a-long. Hunter Hayes took it outside and walked through a crowd of hundreds before taking the stage, and Bryan performed across the street at Lower Broadway venue The Stage.
And Little Big Town sang Fleetwood Mac's The Chain as fog enveloped the stage and Urban joined them for an extended guitar solo.
In picture: Carrie Underwood accepts the award for video of the year for Blown Away.
Text and images: AP