November 24, 2008
It’s hard to imagine a time when the American Music Awards consistently trumped the Grammys in terms of viewing audience while also giving off an air of importance and prestige. Since the days of Dick Clark, the show has struggled for meaning, and the entertainment value is now trumpeted far more than the actual awards. Annie Lennox accepted a lifetime-achievement Award Of Merit trophy for her superior musical career and devotion to charitable causes, but her show-stopping performance of the spare piano ballad, “Why,” only served to highlight the “more style, less substance” attitude of a once-revered awards show.
The prominent winners of last night’s escapade included hip-hop and R & B staples Chris Brown, Alicia Keys and Kanye West (and deservedly so), but country music seemed like an afterthought. Music Row’s award winners last night were basically repeats of the CMA Awards, and Taylor Swift’s performance was the only one by a country artist. Swift provided a surprisingly capable (and in-tune) reading of her new single, “White Horse.” Displaying little of the nervousness that plagued her CMA Awards debacle earlier this month, she captured the gloomy nature of the song with great passion.
American Music Award Winners
Favorite Male Artist: Brad Paisley
Favorite Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Favorite Band, Duo, or Group: Rascal Flatts
Favorite Album: Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride