05/23/2002 at 12:00 AM EDT
Wednesday night's 37th annual Country Music Awards, broadcast on CBS, took on a patriotic tone, with Alan Jackson paying tribute to the victims of Sept. 11 as he accepted the top single trophy for his song "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)." "I'm still angry and sad and forever changed about what happened that day, and I thank God for sending the words and music down to me because I believe I was an instrument for that for whatever reason," Jackson said of his patriotic anthem. "I don't feel like I can accept the award for this song without sharing it and dedicating it to the thousands of people, men, women and children, who died and suffered and are still suffering all because of that cowardly and heartless attack on America and mankind. So this is for all of them." Jackson, 43, who was named top male vocalist, and the wisecracking duo of Brooks & Dunn each won three awards. The trophies to Kix Brooks, 47, and Ronnie Dunn, 48, included one for the top country video, "Only In America." The top female vocalist prize went to Martina McBride, 35, who accepted her award in honor of the ceremony's host Reba McEntire, 47, whom she described as "a friend, mentor and incredible inspiration." Lonestar, with the crossover hit "I'm Already There" was named top vocal group during the three-hour show, which was held far from Nashville, at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, Calif.