Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift Win Big at the 2011 ACM Awards

Miranda Lambert is once again the belle of the ball. The Texas songbird led the 46th Academy of Country  (ACM) Awards winners with three trophies: Top Female Vocalist, Single of the Year and Video of the Year for her huge hit, ‘The House That Built Me.’ The songwriters behind the tune, Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, also won for Song of the Year.

«I feel so blessed and so humbled,» said Miranda, fighting back tears upon accepting her Vocalist honors. «I thank God for giving me the blessing of living my dream. I love country music fans!»

For the first time in ACM history, live performances came from two different stages: the MGM Grand arena and Mandalay Bay, where Sugarland hosted the first-ever ACM Fan Jam. It was a night of a lot of brand-new music, kicking off with Brad Paisley singing his latest, ‘Old Alabama,’ accompanied by the legendary Alabama. Toby Keith followed suit with his brand-new single, ‘Somewhere Else.’

Sugarland’s spine-tingling performance of ‘Tonight’ kicked off the simultaneous broadcast at the Mandalay Bay, followed by Dierks Bentley singing his brand-new ‘Am I the Only One’ while doing a simultaneous workout, running up the stadium stairs to high-five fans in the nose-bleeds.

Keith Urban brought it back to the ACM stage with his romantic ‘Without You,’ followed by a trip back to Mandalay Bay to Top New Solo Vocalist winner Eric Church for the rockin’ ‘Smoke a Little Smoke.’

The night’s first award didn’t come until 53 minutes into the show when Song of the Year honors went to ‘The House That Built Me.’ Taylor Swift followed, playing banjo for the live debut of her song, ‘Mean.’ Then it was back to Mandalay Bay for Top New Vocal Duo or Group winners the Band Perry singing the poignant song that launched them to country stardom, ‘If I Die Young.’ They added Top New Artist winners to their resume directly after the performance, winning the first fan-voted award of the night.

Single Record of the Year honors were next, going — no surprise — to frontrunner Miranda Lambert for ‘The House That Built Me.’ Her fiance Blake Shelton followed with his new song, ‘Honey Bee.’

Ronnie Dunn made his awards show debut as a solo act with his new single, ‘Bleed Red.’ Then it was back to the Mandalay Bay for Sugarland to accept Vocal Duo of the Year honors for the fourth year in a row.

Martina McBride’s brand-new ‘Teenage Daughters’ was next, with the gorgeous mom of three singing in front of projected photos of moms and daughters.

Dad of two sons Brad Paisley is the ACM Top Male Vocalist for the third year in a row. «I’m so grateful to the fans of country music who gave me the chance to do this for a living,» he said from the stage. «I don’t know who got paid … I’m just kidding, it’s all very fair!»

One of the most touching moments of the night came next, with Darius Rucker performing ‘Music From the Heart,’ a song co-written by Chris Young, Brett James and 25 developmentally disabled young adults at the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp last summer — all of whom joined Darius for the performance, receiving wild cheers from the standing audience.

Reba McEntire hosted the ACMs for the 13th year, with Blake Shelton as her co-host for his very first awards hosting gig. The two provided lots of laughs throughout the three hour broadcast, poking fun of celebrities and one another.

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