Oklahoma-born Garth Brooks, a balding cowpoke with black hat, boots and jeans, came West and collected a record six Academy of Country Music Awards.
A stunned Brooks stood backstage Wednesday night clutching trophies for top entertainer, male vocalist, single for "Friends in Low Places," video and song for "The Dance," and album for "No Fences.""I'm happy, I'm scared and I'm embarrassed at the same time," Brooks, 29, said. "It scares me a lot. A lot of people win a lot of awards, then you never hear from them again."
Overall, it was an emotional evening at the Universal Amphitheatre, where the 26th annual Country Music Awards presentations included tributes to dead friends and a farewell by a popular singer who has fallen ill.
Reba McEntire accepted her fifth female vocalist trophy. With tears streaming down her face, she dedicated the award to members of her band who died in a plane crash last month.
"This is for my eight buddies. I know they are grinnin' up there knowing they had so many friends on Earth," McEntire told a tearful audience.
The Judds, mother Naomi and daughter Wynonna, won their seventh consecutive duet award in what they said would be their last academy appearance together. Naomi Judd, ill with hepatitis, is leaving her daughter to perform alone.
"When I'm alone on my farm in the years to come, the memory of you will be that of some beautiful choir, an invisible choir, singing to me the most beautiful love song of all," Naomi Judd said.
Entertainer of the Year: Garth Brooks
Male Singer: Garth Brooks
Female Singer: Reba McEntire
Duo: The Judds
New Male Singer: Alan Jackson
New Female Singer: Shelby Lynne
New Group or Duo: Pirates of the Mississippi
Song: "The Dance," Garth Brooks
Single: "Friends in Low Places," Garth Brooks
Album: "No Fences," Garth Brooks
Video: "The Dance," Garth Brooks
Pioneer Award: Johnny Cash