As I work my way through these categories, it’s becoming apparent to me that this was a very weak year for country music. I’m struggling to come up with a list of five women who actually made a musical impact over the twelve months that make up the eligibility period.
Only two women have made any serious commercial impact this year, so I’m filling up the category with the women who put out solid music that also did reasonably well:
If the Grammys can acknowledge her, I don’t see why the CMA should overlook her. She made an excellent covers album that has sold as well as several major label efforts. She was a surprise nominee in 2003 on the strength of Mountain Soul, and it would be nice to see the CMA show such good judgment again.
Also a surprise nominee in 2003, and very worthy of returning to the lineup this year. Not only did she sell out venues across Europe, she also earned a Tony nomination for Best Score.
Oh, and that independent album she released on her own label last year? It’s sold twice as much as the latest albums from Martina McBride and Lee Ann Womack, and outsold the albums of such radio staples as Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, and Blake Shelton.
Let’s just say it now so we can be spared it being said over and over again in the comments:
Taylor Swift shouldn’t win a vocalist award because she can’t sing!
I understand this argument. After all, the same is true for Kenny Chesney and Shania Twain, who won Entertainer of the Year but not their respective vocalist awards. But they were still nominated, and rightfully so. You can’t tell the story of women in country music in 2009 without including Taylor Swift.
Does she deserve to join the illustrious ranks of four-time winners in this category? You betcha. Given that Underwood’s a happy medium between Reba McEntire’s country-pop and Martina McBride’s power balladeering, she seems to fit in perfectly.
Oh, and if it seems too soon for Underwood to be in the same league as McEntire, remember that Reba wasn’t a superstar when she won those four trophies. She didn’t even earn a platinum album until two years after her winning streak ended.
Lee Ann Womack
Why Lee Ann Womack, and not Miranda Lambert? Each had a moody single go top twenty this year, but Lambert’s was off of an album released during the 2007 eligibility period.
Why Lee Ann Womack, and not Martina McBride? Their albums have sold in similar numbers, but Womack’s was a good deal better.
Why Lee Ann Womack and not Julianne Hough or Kellie Pickler? If you’re asking that question, you must be new to Country Universe.
What five women do you think should be nominated for Female Vocalist this year?