The Blake Shelton-Miranda Lambert household needs a trophy room expansion after the couple swept the top categories at the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville on Thursday.
Shelton won his first entertainer of the year award, and he and his wife took home vocalist honors in their respective categories. They shared song of the year for writing Over You.
His three wins matched his career total: He had previously won musical event and twice won male vocalist. Lambert had won five previous awards, including female vocalist in 2010 and 2011.
Shelton said he has far exceeded his early career goals, which were to "have a gold record ... and become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. I love country music more than anybody in this room."
Lambert said she'll try "to represent all the females who want to be up-and-comers. We'll stick together."
In something of an upset, veterans Little Big Town won vocal group over Lady Antebellum, winners for the past three years. The quartet also won single for Pontoon, a song that was the subject of a risqué barb from fifth-time co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley.
"It was like an out-of-body experience," said Kimberly Schlapman afterward of the group's first awards. "I didn't know what was happening."
Also winning for the first time was emerging star Eric Church, who showed that his progressive sound also is influential. In accepting album of the year for Chief, he said he had spent "a lot of my career wondering where I fit in — too country, too rock. I thank you guys for giving me somewhere to hang my hat."
Church, who had five nominations, the most of any artist, said backstage that "country music has always been the coolest format. It's in a great space creatively.''
On the heels of Church's album win, cherub-faced Hunter Hayes won new artist.
Contributing: Brian Mansfield in Nashville