CMT Awards 2017: Keith Urban wins big, Carrie Underwood makes history

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Keith Urban may have walked away with the top honor at Wednesday night’s CMT Awards, but Carrie Underwood made history.

After walking away empty-handed at the Grammy Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this year, Urban found redemption picking up four honors including video of the year for “Blue Ain’t Your Color.”

The country star also won male video, collaborative video and social superstar of the year at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I love making music, I love making videos … who knows how long you get to do it,” said Urban, who also thanked his fans and his actress-wife Nicole Kidman, who sat in the audience.

“I’m just trying to make a connection,” he said.

Urban also performed, singing his disco-flavored hit “The Fighter” with Carrie Underwood, who continued to dominate as the most awarded act in the history of the CMT Awards with 17 wins.

She won female video of the year for “Church Bells” and collaborative video for “The Fighter.”

CMT Awards host Charles Esten kept the audience entertained with a string of jokes about his CMT show “Nashville” which came off as a poorly-written ad for the network.

“In the last five seasons, I lost my dog, I lost my truck, my sobriety, my bar, my liver, my sister and my wife. And we were cancelled by ABC,” Esten whined before quickly adding that CMT picked them up. He also spoiled the last season of “Nashville” for viewers who have not watched it yet by revealing Connie Britton’s character had died.

The night also featured several collaborative performances. Peter Frampton sang outdoors with Brothers Osborne; The Chainsmokers and duo video of the year winners Florida Georgia Line performed the energetic “Last Day Alive,” which was pre-taped Tuesday; and Earth, Wind & Fire partnered with Lady Antebellum to close the awards show.

Luke Bryan and Jason Derulo, who won CMT performance of the year for “Want to Want Me” from their “CMT Crossroads” special, performed the pop song onstage as well as Bryan’s slow groove, “Strip It Down.”

The CMT Awards didn’t only include singers from other genres; Hollywood stars also attended, including Ashton Kutcher.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Katherine Heigl sported pink sunglasses while Miranda Lambert sang “Pink Sunglasses” onstage. Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini also performed during the show. Little Big Town, who also sang, won group video of the year for “Better Man,” their No. 1 hit that was written by Taylor Swift.

Band member Karen Fairchild thanked the group’s fans “for making this such a big hit.”

Lauren Alaina, who placed second on “American Idol” in 2011, won breakthrough video of the year for her No. 1 hit, “Road Less Traveled.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.

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