George Strait won his third CMA Entertainer of the Year trophy Wednesday night in Nashville. He last took that trophy in 1990 when fellow nominee Taylor Swift wasn't even a year old yet. George is honored to get this recognition from his peers as he prepares to launch the last leg of his final tour, The Cowboy Rides Away, next year.
George says, "It's nice to have the younger artists come up and say, "Oh my gosh, you know I was listening to you back then. You're an influence on my music" and all of that. 'Cause I know I had heroes too back when I was starting out."
He adds, "I'm just glad that I can still come to these things and be sort of relevant."
So, does the Entertainer of the Year win make George reconsider his decision to stop touring?
"I said I was done, and I'm done touring," George says. "I'm still gonna do, I'm thinking a few things every year. I don't know what, but I can't imagine not ever having a band. I'm not selling the bus or anything."
Taylor Swift had a big reaction when Strait was announced as this year's Entertainer of the Year. She says, "I was standing with Faith Hill with our arms around each other crying. We were so happy, 'cause both of us have opened up for him."
Of course, Faith and George joined Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw onstage to present Taylor with the Pinnacle Award earlier in the show. Taylor opened up for all of those artists when she was a newcomer.
"I'll never forget walking up and seeing them all standing there and just thinking, 'This is out of a dream,'" Taylor says.
Blake Shelton wasn't upset about giving up his title as reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year to Strait, either.
"That's what should have happened," Blake says of Strait's big win. "I mean, that's how it needs to be. He's not just Entertainer of the Year. He's Entertainer of the last three decades, I guess, or four decades."
In addition to scoring his fourth-consecutive Male Vocalist of the Year trophy, Blake also took home his first Album of the Year award for Based on a True Story…
He says, "Of course, Entertainer of the Year is unbelievable, but Album of the Year is the one that's going to go in the center of the trophy case for me."
Blake's wife, Miranda Lambert, also took home her fourth-consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year award Wednesday night. Reba McEntire is the only other artist to pull off that feat in that category.
"She's royalty in country music," Miranda says of Reba. "I'm gonna be 30 years old on Sunday, and to have tied with her as Female Vocalist -- we've both won four times consecutively, and it blows my mind."
Miranda's newly-svelte body turned quite a few heads at the CMA Awards, too. It turns out her upcoming milestone birthday had a lot to do with her decision to get healthy.
She explains, "People say, 'Are you OK about turning 30?' I guess I am, but I guess I'm not, because I feel like everybody always says, 'Well, it goes downhill from there.' I just thought, maybe if I get ahead of it a little I can kind of not have to work so hard later in life."
There is one thing Miranda won't give up in order to lose a few pounds, though.
"I didn't give up drinking. I refuse," she says with a laugh. "Have you met my husband? You have to drink to put up with that."
Florida Georgia Line hit the backstage press room after winning Vocal Duo of the Year and Single of the Year for "Cruise." You may have noticed the two lovely ladies sitting with them in the audience. The guys brought their moms as their dates this year.
The duo's Brian Kelley says, "What a special night to be able to bring our moms and have 'em as our dates, and even crazier that we just won two awards with them sitting next to us, man. Very humbling, surreal."
Florida Georgia Line revealed some big plans for 2014 including a brand-new album and a 60-date tour with Jason Aldean, too.
FGL's Tyler Hubbard adds, "Fingers crossed we can be here for a long time, and we're gonna have fun with it."
Kacey Musgraves almost missed her cue to go onstage to accept her New Artist of the Year trophy Wednesday night at the CMAs.
"I really didn't hear that they were announcing that award 'til I heard my name," Kacey admits. "And all I know is milliseconds later there I am speaking in front of thousands of people, millions even."
Kacey debuted her new single, "Follow Your Arrow," on the show, and even got bleeped by network censors when she sang the word "joint" in the song. The song also includes a reference to crack, but Kacey had no control over what ABC allowed on the air.
She explains, "Well, I guess for some reason people feel the need to censor that word, but yet, they decide to leave the word "crack" in there. I'm not really sure why."
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