The Country Music Association Awards paid tribute to the past, present, and future, giving George Strait his third entertainer of the year trophy last night while also awarding a quartet of 20-somethings who are helping to stretch the ever-fluid boundaries of the genre. Strait won the CMA's top honor for the first time since 1990 in something of a victory lap as he launches the final leg of his The Cowboy Rides Away tour—his goodbye to touring. Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line, and Kacey Musgraves were among the top winners, as were husband and wife Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert.
Swift won two trophies for her "Highway Don't Care" collaboration with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. Shelton also won two awards, including the prestigious album of the year for "Based on a True Story..." and male vocalist of the year for the fourth time, matching Lambert, who won her fourth female vocalist of the year award. Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley scored single and vocal duo of the year. Musgraves—who, along with Swift, led all nominees with six—won the new artist trophy, besting a field that included Florida Georgia Line. Swift was also given the CMA's Pinnacle Award, which goes to artists who take country music to a worldwide audience, and Kenny Rogers received the CMA's Willie Nelson lifetime achievement award. Click for more on the show, or see a list of all the winners. (Read more Country Music Awards stories.)