Former AMERICAN IDOL contestant KELLIE PICKLER was the big winner at the 2008 Country Music Television awards on Monday (14Apr08) – scooping three major awards.
The Small Town Girl singer, who finished sixth in season five of the TV talent show in 2006, won the award for Breakthrough Video for her track I Wonder, best Tearjerker Video for the same song and Performance Of The Year for her appearance on the 41st Annual CMA Awards in 2007.
On receiving her awards, the 21-year-old thanked the show’s producers for kicking-off her music career, saying, “Thank you American Idol, you are the rocket that launched my career.”
Other big winners at the event – which celebrates the best in country music videos – were singer/songwriter Taylor Swift, who picked up an award for Video Of The Year and female video for Our Song. Trace Adkins won Best Male Video for I Got My Game On, which also scooped Rodney Carrington an award for Supporting Character Of The Year.
Led Zeppelin rocker Robert Plant’s country collaboration with bluegrass star Alison Krauss saw the duo win the award for Wide Open Country Video for Gone, Gone Gone (Dance Move On).
Best collaborative video was won by unlikely pairing Bon Jovi and LeAnn Rimes, who picked up the award for their track Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus and her country star dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, with music star guest presenters including American Idol judge Paula Abdul, Snoop Dogg and Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, who is married to country superstar Keith Urban.