Australian country music superstar Keith Urban has been named entertainer of the year at the 2018 Country Music Association Awards.
His wife, actor Nicole Kidman, was in tears as her husband walked on stage to collect the prize on Wednesday night.
The country superstar told Kidman: “Baby girl, I love you so much”, adding he was “shocked beyond shocked”.
Urban beat out Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney for the prize.
“I wish my dad was alive to see this,” the Australian performer said.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 15, 2018
Stapleton, however, cleaned house at the CMAs, winning four awards including male vocalist, song and single of the year.
“I want to thank my kids who put up with me being gone quite a bit and not getting to be as a good daddy that I would always like to be,” said the father of four and soon to be five since his wife, singer-songwriter Morgane Stapleton, is pregnant.
Stapleton also won the performance of the night: His supergroup featuring Mavis Staples, Maren Morris, Marty Stuart and his wife gave a soulful and powerful performance of Friendship, a song made famous by Pop Staples, the iconic singer’s late father.
They then performed I’ll Take You There, jamming on stage along with a choir. They earned a standing ovation from the audience.
— 9Gem (@9Gem) November 15, 2018
When Stapleton won single of the year – where he won as both a performer and producer – earlier in the show, he said he was “thinking about the people in California right now” and he wants to “dedicate this award to them”.
He was referring to the 12 people who were killed at a Southern California country music bar last week, who were also honoured at the top of the show when Garth Brooks held a moment of silence as the names of the victims were displayed on the screen.
“Tonight let’s celebrate their lives. Let the music unite us with love,” Brooks said.