Photo Credit: Frederick Breedon/FilmMagic; Jason Kempin/Getty Images; Ed Rode/WireImage
Lambert won the top female vocalist category, and graciously took the opportunity to thank every other nominee. To Taylor Swift: "I've been listening to Red all week, it's freakin' awesome." To Carrie Underwood: "At rehearsal, I heard her sing 'Blown Away' three times, and it blew me away." To Kelly Clarkson: "I sang with her in Colorado and I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die." And to veteran Martina McBride: "I grew up with her records and to try to even hit one note that she ever sang, it's impossible."
Lambert also shared an award with her husband of 18 months for writing her single, "Over You," an emotional song about Shelton's older brother, who died in a car accident when they were teenagers.
"I lost my brother in a car wreck when I was 14 years old and, later in life, when I decided I wanted to be a country singer, my dad always told me, 'Son, you should write a song about your brother,'" Shelton said as Lambert got weepy standing beside him. "I lost my dad in January and it's so amazing to to me that, tonight, even after he's gone, he's still right! I just needed the right person to write this song with, and the right person to sing it."
Then, to continue the poignant moment, Shelton turned to his teary wife and said, "I love you so much, baby."
Shelton himself also took home the award for male vocalist of the year in addition to the night's top honor, entertainer of the year. The Voice mentor was humble and apparently shocked at winning both categories.
Coming right after a Willie Nelson tribute, Shelton accepted his entertainer of the year award looking quite surprised. "You can tell this time I really didn't think I was gonna win... I'm still Willie'd out here!" he exclaimed.
Once again hosted by the veteran team of Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, the night was filled with memorable performances and funny zingers, including a jab at Taylor Swift's love life. Paisley, who had not been brought up to speed that Swift was a single lady yet again, said, "The greatest trade of the year had to be the Kennedy family. They somehow traded Arnold Schwarzenegger for Taylor Swift." Zing!
The most socially relevant performance of the evening was Paisley's rousing rendition of "Southern Comfort Zone," which he started by sampling a few lines of "Empire State of Mind" and giving a shout-out to New York and New Jersey -- the two states most devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
But at the end of the night, it was clearer than ever that Lambert and Shelton are country's new super couple.
List of 2012 CMA Winners
Entertainer of the Year: Blake Shelton
Album of the Year: Chief, Eric Church
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton
Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
Vocal Duo of the Year: Thompson Square
Single of the Year: "Pontoon," Little Big Town
Song of the Year: "Over You," Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert (songwriters)
Musical Event of the Year: "Feel Like a Rock Star," Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw
Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally
Music Video of the Year: "Red Solo Cup," Toby Keith
New Artist of the Year: Hunter Hayes