Gretchen Wilson’s redneck reign continued Monday in Nashville as she emerged as the top winner at the 2005 CMT Music Awards.
She snagged Breakthrough Video of the Year Award for her monster hit, “Redneck Woman,” and claimed the prize for Best Female Video for “When I Think About Cheatin’.”
“I want to say thank you to the fans,” the 32-year-old said.
“[Thanks for] believing in me and for making this one of the most incredible years of my life,” she added.
Indeed, Wilson owned country music in 2004–her debut disc, Here For the Party, has racked up more than 4 million in sales and she took home a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
One trophy that eluded Wilson Monday night was Video of the Year, which went to Keith Urban’s “Days Go By.”
The glitzy ceremony, considered country music’s equivalent of the MTV Video Music Awards, was hosted by Jeff Foxworthy and held at Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center and aired live on CMT. It featured an eclectic mix of celebs and performers.
Drea de Matteo, Andie MacDowell, Gina Gershon, Dennis Hopper and William Shatner all put in face time on the show. Shatner introduced Brad Paisley–calling the crooner a “very good friend of mine.”
Paisley walked away with the award for Best Collaborative Video (shared with Alison Krauss) for his “Whiskey Lullaby.” The clip also earned a Best Director trophy for former NYPD Blue/Silver Spoons star Rick Schroder.
Schroder seemed genuinely surprised with his win. “I can’t tell you guys how proud I am to be up here right now,” he said, before thanking “all our armed forces” in a brief acceptance speech.
The CMT Awards also honored one of the genre’s living legends, Loretta Lynn, with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award.
Lynn, who turns 70 this week, was toasted by some big names during the telecast, including Crystal Gayle and Sissy Spacek.
“I want to thank you all and say how much I appreciate this award. I really do,” said Lynn, who picked up two Grammy Award wins last month for her comeback album, Van Lear Rose, produced by Jack White of the White Stripes.
Other highlights from the show included a performance of “Crazy On You” performed by Ann and Nancy Wilson of the classic rock band Heart–with an assist from another, unrelated Wilson–Gretchen.
Toby Keith and Reba McEntire also performed. Meanwhile, the award show injected a little levity by reuniting the original cast of the Dukes of Hazzard, including Catherine Bach, John Schneider, Tom Wopat, James Best, Ben Jones and Sonny Shroyer.
While Gretchen Wilson ruled the show, her Muzik Mafia cohorts Big & Rich were dissed. The duo, who came into the evening with a leading four nominations, were shut out.
Here’s the complete list of 2005 CMT winners:
Video of the Year: Keith Urban, “Days Go By”
Breakthrough Video: Gretchen Wilson, “Redneck Woman””Here”
Collaborative Video: Brad Paisley featuring Alison Krauss, “Whiskey Lullaby”
Group/Duo Video: Rascal Flatts, “Feels Like Today”
Hottest Video: Toby Keith, “Whiskey Girl”
Most Inspiring Video: Tim McGraw, “Live Like You Were Dying”
Male Video: Kenny Chesney, “I Go Back”
Female Video: Gretchen Wilson, “When I Think About Cheatin'”
Video Director of the Year: Rick Schroder, “Whiskey Lullaby”
Johnny Cash Visionary Award: Loretta Lynn
E!Online – Charlie Amter