November 12th, 2010
05:10 PM ET
Move over, Tim and Faith. There's a new golden couple in town, and their names are Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.
On her 27th birthday, Lambert picked up three trophies at "The 44th Annual CMA Awards," while her fiance walked away with two. They're also the first real-life couple to be crowned female and male vocalist of the year since Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in 2000.
"I'm so excited for Blake. I can't even be excited for myself, and I mean that," Lambert gushed to CNN after the show, her blue eyes misting over. "He is an amazing singer. I hear him on records, I hear him in the shower. I hear him all the time and I know how great he is. It's about time people noticed."
Although Lambert's wins for female vocalist, album of the year (for "Revolution") and song of the year (for "The House That Built Me") were not unexpected, Shelton's triumph for male vocalist was an upset - but one that was met with a lot of support from his peers, judging from the hearty cheers that went up inside Bridgestone Arena Wednesday night. Brad Paisley - who had won the award for the past three years and was competing against Shelton - was one of the first to applaud.
"I wanted him to win," Paisley confided. "He's had a big year. He deserved that. He's also never been awarded much. He came out before my first single. I'm so proud for him."
Shelton's wins come on the heels of last month's induction into the Grand Ole Opry.
"Heck man, I've been luckier than most people will ever be," said Shelton. "I've been successful in country music, but when you think that for whatever reason, you're not going to be one of those celebrated artists in Nashville, you kind of put it out of your mind, even though you want that. And then all of a sudden, out of left field, all those things come at you at once, when you thought they were gone - that's pretty cool."
Lambert brushed off talk that she and Shelton were the new queen and king of country music. "That's so weird. Tomorrow, we're going to go back to our regular lives. We're king and queen today, but tomorrow, we'll be in the woods somewhere - hunting, probably. When all of this goes away, we want to make sure we still love each other."
Shelton shared the sentiment. "If I would have met Miranda and I was a roofer again, I would have fallen in love with her that way."
"This was the best birthday ever, probably in the history of birthdays," said Lambert.
"Miranda's having her birthday party, which at this point, is going to be very interesting," Shelton predicted. "There's going to be CMA trophies shattered on the ground by the end of the night, and birthday cake smeared across people's faces, and serious, serious liver damage before the night is over."
Meanwhile, there were CMA post-mortems all over town Thursday morning. At Noshville, Music City's "authentic New York-style delicatessen" (according to its website), a waitress weighed in. "I'm so happy for Miranda," she said. "Her dad comes here all the time."
Kid Rock walked in, semi-incognito with his long hair tucked inside a knit cap. After the CMAs, Loretta Lynn had come backstage, telling CNN, "I love Kid Rock. I do!" When informed of the unsolicited shout-out, the rocker smiled. "I love her, too," he replied. "And you can tweet that!"
Half-an-hour later, Kenny Chesney strolled in, talking on his cell phone. Acquaintances congratulated him on his CMA performance the night before - but it looked like he was already onto the next thing.
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