In the spotlight

NASHVILLE, TENN. — Lady Antebellum took its third straight vocal group of the year award, and a melancholy song about dying young helped the rising star siblings who make up The Band Perry to three trophies at the Country Music Awards.


Country music’s biggest night Wednesday started with unexpected appearances by Hank Williams Jr., Barbie dolls of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and plenty of crossover appeal. But it was Kimberly Perry’s poignant song If I Die Young that was everyone’s focus. The trio won song and single of the year and best new artist.

“It’s just always felt like a song that was meant to be here,” Perry said as she was flanked by brothers and bandmates Reid and Neil Perry. “I was so excited to have a pen and paper in hand when it was ready to come to Earth.”

The Band Perry played in Augusta as part of the WKXC-FM Guitar Pull last year.

Jason Aldean won his first major CMA award, taking album of the year for My Kinda Party, his platinum-selling album. The CD also included Don’t You Wanna Stay, his duet with Kelly Clarkson, which won musical event of the year.

Blake Shelton and Kenny Loggins opened the show with a high-energy version of Loggins’ hit Footloose, quickly establishing a crossover theme for what is a very eclectic night.

Shelton’s song Honey Bee – co-written by Ben Hayslip, who grew up in Evans, and Rhett Akins, who spent summers in Evans visiting with Hayslip – was nominated in both the Music Video of the Year and Single of the Year categories.

Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter continued that trend when they won video of the year for their steamy You and Tequila.

LOS ANGELES — The bed where Michael Jackson took his last breath is up for sale.

The queen-size piece is among hundreds of items from the Holmby Hills mansion where Jackson spent his final days that are set to hit the auction block next month.

“We want to preserve the history of these items,” said celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, which will sell the various antique furnishings, paintings and sculptures that surrounded the King of Pop as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts.

The North Carolwood Drive home where Jackson lived with his three children from December 2008 until his death on June 25, 2009, is separately up for sale. The house and its furnishings were leased to Jackson while he and his family lived there.

A note from one of the children remains on a chalkboard inside the home’s sprawling kitchen, where three barstools were lined up against the center island: “I (heart) Daddy. SMILE, it’s for free,” the chalk note reads in childlike scrawl. The chalkboard will be sold as-is, and is expected to fetch more than $400.

– From wire reports