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October 1, 2014

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Keith Urban early leader at ACM Awards with 3

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Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP

Gwen Sebastian and Blake Shelton perform onstage at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Updated Sunday, April 6, 2014 | 6:30 p.m.

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Keith Urban arrives at the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Las Vegas.

49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards

Blake Shelton, left, and Shakira perform on stage at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

The Band Perry opened The Academy of Country Music Awards a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll with a sexy version of their hit "Chainsaw," but it was Keith Urban who was ripping through the awards as they opened.

The "American Idol" judge was the early leader Sunday night, cashing in by teaming up with his super friends. He won two trophies as producer and performer when he and Miranda Lambert won vocal event of the year for their duet "We Were Us" before the awards.

And his "Highway Don't Care" collaboration with Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift won video of the year. Lambert and McGraw are the top nominees with seven apiece and Urban is up for six.

The Perry family opened the show with a rocked-up version of "Chainsaw," showering the crowd with confetti — so much that it piled up like snow drifts in the hair of stars like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

"There's $20 million in hairdos down here and it all has confetti in it," show co-host Luke Bryan quipped after their performance. "This is not a Head & Shoulders" commercial everybody.

Bryan and co-host Blake Shelton picked up where they left off as co-hosts last year, zinging Eric Church over the likelihood of finding marijuana in his dressing room, poking fun at Britney Spears (who performs on the strip) and ribbing Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, in the audience, about his team's disappointing playoff record (Shelton and Bryan announced the 50th edition of the ACM Awards will be held at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium next year).

But their best moment was self-deprecating, as Bryan and Shelton noted their both up for top honor entertainer of the year with Shelton's wife Lambert, Swift and George Strait.

"As far as Miranda is concerned I'm already entertainer of the year," Shelton said as his wife shook her head in the front row.

"More like entertainer of the minute," Bryan said. "And I'm spottin' you 30 seconds."

Bryan and Shelton figure in two of the night's other top categories. They're both up for male vocalist of the year with Jason Aldean, Lee Brice and Urban.

And Bryan's "Crash My Party" and Shelton's "Based on a True Story ... " are up for album of the year with Florida Georgia Line's "Here's to the Good Times," Kacey Musgraves' Grammy Award-winning country album of the year "Same Trailer Different Park" and Tim McGraw's "Two Lanes of Freedom."

Swift and Lambert are up for female vocalist of the year with Musgraves, Carrie Underwood and Sheryl Crow.

And Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart," co-written by Musgraves, is up for single record and song of the year.

Lambert's vocal event win is her 16th trophy at the awards since she opened with a top new female vocalist award in 2006. She's also up for song and single record of the year for "Mama's Broken Heart," and entertainer of the year.

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