Carrie Underwood emerged as the evening's big winner at Monday night's 2007 CMT Music Awards for her video "Before He Cheats" winning trophies for VIDEO OF THE YEAR, FEMALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR and DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR (Roman White). Kenny Chesney took home top honors for MALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR; Rascal Flatts won GROUP VIDEO OF THE YEAR; and Sugarland won DUO VIDEO OF THE YEAR.
Newcomer Taylor Swift won the first award of her professional career for BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO OF THE YEAR and Jack Ingram took home his first CMT buckle in a new category, WIDE OPEN COUNTRY VIDEO OF THE YEAR. The two-and-a-half hour awards show ceremony took place live at The Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville.
Hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, the 2007 CMT Music Awards kicked off with an opening sketch featuring Foxworthy and Blake Shelton entitled, "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grade Country Singer," with a cast of fifth graders posing as young country stars. His opening monologue then paid tribute to those lives lost in the tragedy at Virginia Tech earlier today. Foxworthy said, "We want you to know that you are in the hearts and minds of the country music community."
Kris Kristofferson held back tears as he was presented the Johnny Cash Visionary Award by close friend and daughter of the late Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash. In a moving speech, Cash described Kristofferson's songs as a "vision of truth, like the man himself." The tribute included Gretchen Wilson, Keith Urban, Luke Wilson, legendary filmmaker and Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese, Academy Award winner Russell Crowe, Willie Nelson and acclaimed producer Don Was.
Rascal Flatts ignited the live show with the fan-voted song, "Life Is a Highway," which marked the first time in CMT Music Awards history that fans were allowed to cast their votes online and on mobile phone for the opening number. In addition, a number of powerful performances marked the evening, including a dramatic presentation of Sugarland's hit single, "Stay". Hank Williams Jr. brought the audience to its feet with an acoustic version of "A Country Boy Can Survive," and Carrie Underwood delivered a dynamic rendition of "Before He Cheats."
Keith Urban delivered a special performance of "Stupid Boy" from Sydney, Australia, rockers Bon Jovi debuted their new single, "(You Want To) Make A Memory," from their upcoming country-inspired album, and Kenny Chesney rocked the house with his crowd favorite, "Summertime." Performances by Dierks Bentley ("Long Trip Alone"), Toby Keith ("High Maintenance Woman") and Martina McBride ("Anyway") rounded out the show.
Joining Foxworthy onstage were such celebrity presenters as Barbara Mandrell, Big & Rich, Blake Shelton, Gretchen Wilson, Jason Aldean, NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, Josh Turner, Kellie Pickler, Lance Smith ("CMT Top 20 Countdown"), LeAnn Rimes, Melissa Peterman ("Reba", "CMT Comedy Stage"), Miranda Lambert, Randy Owen of Alabama, comedians Rodney Carrington and Ron White, Ross "the Intern" Mathews ("The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"), Stone Cold Steve Austin, Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) and Taylor Swift.
For the second year in a row, CMT simulcast the awards live online at CMT.com and on CMT Radio, making the broadcast available to nearly 150 CMT radio affiliates. In addition, exclusive content can be seen on CMT.com and its broadband channel CMT Loaded, on CMT Mobile and on URGE, MTV Network's digital music service. MHD: Music High Definition, MTV Networks' high- definition channel, also simulcasted the 2007 CMT Music Awards in HD. CMT will later bow the awards on its digital all-music channel, CMT Pure Country.
Below is a complete list of winners for the 2007 CMT Music Awards:
CMT Music Awards BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video from an artist's major debut album; awarded to the artist
(male, female, or group/duo).
- Taylor Swift - "Tim McGraw"
CMT Music Awards WIDE OPEN COUNTRY VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Video that aired on CMT during WIDE OPEN COUNTRY and pushes the boundaries
of country music; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or
- Jack Ingram - "Love You"
CMT Music Awards VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Video with the best direction (video that best captures the mood, tempo,
and intensity of the song); awarded to the video director for work on a
specific video and accepted by the director and the artist.
- Roman White / Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats"
CMT Music Awards GROUP VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a group; awarded to the artists.
- Rascal Flatts - "What Hurts the Most"
CMT Music Awards DUO VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a duo; awarded to the artists.
- Sugarland - "Want To"
CMT Music Awards FEMALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a female artist; awarded to the artist.
- Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats"
CMT Music Awards MALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a male artist; awarded to the artist.
- Kenny Chesney - "You Save Me"
CMT Music Awards VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video of the year; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or
collaboration). Final four nominees announced during live telecast, with
final voting held online at CMT.com and via mobile phone during the show.
- Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats"
CMT, America's No. 1 country music network, carries original programming, specials, and live concerts and events, as well as a mix of videos by established country music artists and new cutting-edge acts, including world premiere exclusive videos. Founded March 6, 1983, CMT, owned and operated by MTV Networks, reaches 84 million households in the United States. Go to country music's biggest web site at www.cmt.com.
CMT will re-telecast the 2007 CMT Music Awards on Monday, April 16 at 10:30 p.m., ET/PT; Tuesday, April 17 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., ET/PT; Thursday, April 19 at 8:00 p.m., ET/PT; Friday, April 20 at 10:00 p.m., ET/PT; Saturday, April 21 at 4:30 p.m., ET/PT; Sunday, April 22 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., ET/PT.