CMA Noms ’09

cma_awardIt’s that time of year again! For each major category, we’ll look at who’s broken in since last year, who’s been booted out, plus some initial thoughts. As always, we invite you to share your own opinions in the comments. Without further ado:


  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • George Strait
  • Taylor Swift
  • Keith Urban

Who’s In: Taylor Swift

Who’s Out: Sugarland

Snap Judgment: With Carrie Underwood and Sugarland a little out of the spotlight recently, it’s no shock to see the regular foursome of Chesney, Paisley, Strait and Urban prevail. Swift was a logical inclusion given her across-the-board dominance, but I gotta say that I’m surprised to see her acknowledged for it by the historically traditional-leaning CMA.

Male Vocalist

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • Darius Rucker
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban

Who’s In: Darius Rucker

Who’s Out: Alan Jackson

Snap Judgment: Pretty predicable. Rucker has shown he can get serious spins at radio, which is probably what won him this slot over Jamey Johnson.

Female Vocalist

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Reba McEntire
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

Who’s In: Reba McEntire

Who’s Out: Alison Krauss

Snap Judgment: Again, no big surprises. Martina always hangs in there somehow, doesn’t she?

Vocal Duo

  • Big & Rich
  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Joey + Rory
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Sugarland

Who’s In: Joey + Rory

Who’s Out: The Wreckers (finally!), oddly not Big & Rich

Snap Judgment: I guess there has to be at least one defunct act in this category every year, huh?

Vocal Group

  • Eagles
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Zac Brown Band

Who’s In: Zac Brown Band

Who’s Out: Emerson Drive

Snap Judgment: I’m baffled to see the Eagles still here. I expect there will be a lot more shake-up in this category next year, with Love and Theft, Eli Young Band and The Lost Trailers all experiencing a rise in profile recently.

New Artist

  • Randy Houser
  • Jamey Johnson
  • Jake Owen
  • Darius Rucker
  • Zac Brown Band

Who’s In: Completely new line-up!

Snap Judgment: A strong group. Johnson, Rucker and Zac Brown Band are selling better than many of the veteran acts, so they’re the serious contenders this year, but all five nominees show great artistic potential.


  • Brad Paisley, American Saturday Night
  • Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song
  • Sugarland, Love On The Inside
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless
  • Keith Urban, Defying Gravity

Snap Judgment: Probably as good a line-up as you could’ve hoped for. Never thought I’d live to see a CMA category where I thought Keith Urban had the weakest offering!


  • “Chicken Fried” – Zac Brown Band
  • “I Run To You” – Lady Antebellum
  • “In Color” – Jamey Johnson
  • “People Are Crazy” – Billy Currington
  • “Then” – Brad Paisley

Snap Judgment: Sigh.


  • “Chicken Fried” – Zac Brown & Wyatt Durette
  • “I Told You So” – Randy Travis
  • “In Color” – Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller & James Otto
  • “People Are Crazy” – Bobby Braddock & Troy Jones
  • “Then” – Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois and Ashley Gorley

Snap Judgment: I mean, it’s not like Randy Travis ever had his own hit with “I Told You So” or anything.

Musical Event

  • “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” – Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
  • “Down The Road” – Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally
  • “Everything But Quits” – Lee Ann Womack with George Strait
  • “I Told You So” – Carrie Underwood featuring Randy Travis
  • “Old Enough” – The Raconteurs featuring Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe
  • “Start A Band” – Brad Paisley with Keith Urban

Snap Judgment: How in the world did that Raconteurs record sneak in there? Props, CMA!

Music Video

  • “Boots On” – Randy Houser
  • “Love Story” – Taylor Swift
  • “People Are Crazy” – Billy Currington
  • “Start A Band” – Brad Paisley with Keith Urban
  • “Troubadour” – George Strait

Snap Judgment: Not bad. Houser’s doesn’t have much, but the only one I outright dislike is Currington’s. It’s just another excuse for him to sit around looking scruffy on a beach.


  • Eddie Bayers
  • Paul Franklin
  • Dann Huff
  • Brent Mason
  • Mac McAnally
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78 Responses to CMA Noms ’09

  1. JoJoNo Gravatar

    I’m really surprised “Sissy’s Song” by Alan Jackson is not nominated for song..

  2. cuttingthetreacleNo Gravatar

    Same old, same old.

  3. SheldonNo Gravatar

    Miley NOT in the Entertainer category??? I thought this was all about the CMA attracting the under-12 crowd for the awards show. You let me down, CMA.

    The ONLY bright spot in this whole bland list is Jamey Johnson…

    Who will CMA pair Taylor up with this year?? The Jonas Brohers?? AC/DC??

  4. MichaelNo Gravatar

    I was surprised to see Swift up for EOY too and would have preferred Sugarland instead. Darius Rucker up for Male Vocalist was also a bit of a shock until I considered his three consecutive #1’s. Sadly, I’d take him over Alan Jackson lately. Nice to see Reba’s name again for Top Female Vocalist. Anyone know how many noms she’s had now? I assume it’s a record. I wonder if there will ever be five strong, serious contenders in the joke Duo category. Probably not, especially considering B&D’s impending retirement. I think Jake Owen has the smallest chance in the New Artist category. I can’t stand “I Run To You” or “Chicken Fried” but they’re better than “It’s America” or “She’s Country”… barely. The Album of the Year category is strong. I was surprised to see “I Told You So” show up. In my opinion it’s the strongest offering in the bunch, a sad commentary on the state of today’s music. I didn’t think it would be eligible. And finally, yes, the Raconteurs are cool! “Steady, As She Goes” was a great single a few years ago and everything Jack White seems to do is great!

  5. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I’m happily surprised by the Raconteurs/Ashley Monroe/Ricky Skaggs nomination.

  6. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    I roundly trashed Carrie’s new single here yesterday, but this time I’m taking a different tack. I think it’s silly that the CMA sees her as worthy of being a co-host and three-time Female Vocalist but not as a nominee in the Entertainer category. Her ambassadorship for the genre, in my opinion, outweighs her artistic contribution, so it would be a fitting race to include her in. I would’ve tabbed her and Sugarland instead of Strait and Urban.

    Urban benefited from Capitol’s strong voting presence, but he sticks out like a sore thumb in the Album category. He’s basically tossed aside the latter half of the pop-country classification and Defying Gravity is, wait for it, really lightweight.

    Says here that Johnson sweeps his four categories. Wish Lee Ann Womack would’ve snuck in another nod or two.

  7. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I’m, frankly, surprised that The CMA didn’t give Carrie an entertainer nomination as well. Like Blake, I believe her ambassadorship outweighs her artistic contribution so far, but this is the second time they have her co-hosting the show (and she honestly did surprisingly much better with it than Brad did last year). So, it would have stood to reason that they would have at least nominated her, even though I wouldn’t have necessarily predicted a win.

    The only reason I’m not surprised by Sugarland getting shut out this year is their high cancellation rate.

  8. I think it’s silly that the CMA sees her as worthy of being a co-host and three-time Female Vocalist but not as a nominee in the Entertainer category. Her ambassadorship for the genre, in my opinion, outweighs her artistic contribution, so it would be a fitting race to include her in.

    Seconded. And I’ll add that, while I’m still a good long way from being sold on her, Underwood’s stage presence has improved significantly over the last year, and live performance is ostensibly supposed to count for something in the Entertainer of the Year race. That she was left out of this category provides yet more evidence of how the boys’ club mentality pervades at the CMAs and in Nashville.

    I’m relieved that Miranda Lambert managed to score a nomination for Female Vocalist, since I thought she was “on the bubble” this year and could have been displaced by Kellie Pickler. McBride’s rote nominations usually annoy me, but I actually think her new album is some of the better work she’s done in years (which, admittedly, says very, very little), so I don’t really have a problem with her nod.

    Because it bears repeating every year: Combine the Duo and Group categories. Honestly. Are John Rich and Big Kenny even still speaking to each other? And I shudder to think for how many more years Brooks & Dunn will still be nominated even after they’re officially done.

    The nod for “Old Enough” is the only one that really caught my attention as a pleasant surprise, since I think most people expected the more traditional-leaning CMA to embrace Jamey Johnson.

  9. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yes, I agree with your assessment of Carie’s major stage presence improvements, Jonathan.

    The Raconteurs collaboration is really the only exciting nomination here for me as well.

    I’m not excited about the McBride nomination, since I thought her new album was another weak one, but it’s certainly not as odd and random as the Eagles in 2009.

    And ditto about Big And Rich.

  10. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I would’ve supported an Underwood nom, but I’m fine with her being left off, too. She’s just had a low profile for what seems like most of 2009. But I guess you could sort of say the same for most of the guys.

  11. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    And to address the elephant in the room, I’m also surprised by the Taylor Swift entertainer nomination, but even more baffled by the female vocalist nom. I’m not looking forward to this show, but some things sure will be interesting to see how they’ll play out.

  12. gailNo Gravatar

    Well Blake, Keith’s album maybe lightweight to you, but he is selling as good and/or better than Paisley’s album. Now that, IMO, is the boring one. And Keith also out entertains any of the ones in this category. He definitely deserves the nomination more than Sugarland or Carrie. Evidently you don’t attend his concerts or you would know.

  13. TomNo Gravatar

    taylornation nominated only in 4 categories – what were they thinking?

  14. Must say I’m surprised about Taylor Swift getting nominated over Carrie and Sugarland for EOTY. The Song and Single of the Year catagories are rather disappointing too. Really surprised about “I Told You So” being nominated for Song of the Year, I thought it was like the Grammy’s were covers couldn’t be nominated for Song of the Year.

  15. AaronNo Gravatar

    So what the heck is up with Taylor Swift getting an Entertainer nomination?! Hello CMA…what were you thinking?! Sure the girl’s brought plenty of exposure to “country” (is she still country?) music but come on! How could you leave out the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year, Carrie Underwood?? I think that was a huge letdown for me. Now that she has the nomination, I can see her winning which I would be very unhappy about.

    I’m also a bit surprised Keith Urban nabbed an Album nomination. I had expected Lee Ann’s “Call Me Crazy” to creep in. I had also expected her to take Martina’s spot in the Female Race. But I’m still very happy her and George were nominated for “Everything But Quits.” I think it’ll be an interesting show, hopefully the right people win (basically Taylor should get shut out).

  16. TomNo Gravatar

    i couldn’t disagree more with the above, when it comes to taylornation.

  17. Mike JNo Gravatar

    How did “Last Call” by LeeAnn Womack not make it onto the song and/or single list? As far as singles that were actually released, that one is so much stronger than most of the crap that was released this past year, and it even had a decent amount of radio success. Very, very surprised that one didn’t get on there.

  18. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I will say that Taylor seemed genuinely excited and surprised by her entertainer nod as well. I still can’t help but be charmed by her a lot as a person. Before this becomes the obligatory Carrie vs. Taylor debate, I just want to say, once again, that I think Taylor is extremely talented as a songwriter, savvy business woman and even has a strong ear for music in general. I was impressed by the Dateline special where she was instructing her guitar player (at sound check) on the exact way she wanted him to play a certain riff. She is clearly in charge of her career, which is something I respect a whole lot. So, I’m not even completely against her getting an entertainer nomination when I look at it from an objective point of view. Unfortunately, her music (like Carrie’s) just doesn’t do much for my traditional leaning sensibilities. I just think it’s odd that the CMA chooses Carrie as their host two years in a row, but didn’t see fit to let her have an entertainer nod.

  19. I’m not surprised at all by the choices except for maybe Carrie’s not being on the EOTY list.

    I think the Eagles should’ve been lopped off and replaced by another group. Groups and duos are actually starting to have enough presence for both categories to still be there, the voters just need to stop voting for ‘old’ acts.

    I think The Raconteurs’ song kicked off the Urban/Paisley song from “event.”

    I like all of the songs in the song and single list but still am surprised that “Chicken Fried” made song list ahead of something like “Sissy’s Song.”

  20. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I don’t miss “Start A Band” much from the Event list, though I’m shocked The Raconteurs beat it there. But aside from the Urban/Paisley star power, it’s a pretty forgettable record.

  21. K-manNo Gravatar

    For Video, I would’ve liked to see “You Belong With Me” instead of “Love Story” (unless the nomination timing wasn’t right for it). And although “Boots On” was cute, it was not deserving for a nomination in my opinion.

  22. BobNo Gravatar

    I agree with Blake that Sugarland and Carrie should have been considered for Entertainer. I would have left out Strait and Chesney. Guess I’ll go with Brad.
    Male Vocalist – anyone but Strait or Chesney
    Female Vocalist – don’t care. Trisha Yearwood’s better than any of them.
    Duo – Sugarland
    Group – Eagles. don’t know why they’re nominated this year but they’re far better than the others.
    New Artist – Darius Rucker but it’s kind of like in major league baseball when a guy has played professionally for 5 or 10 years in Japan and is considered eligible for rookie of the year. Just doesn’t seem right but I like his music better than the other nominees.
    Album – Sugarland
    Single – People Are Crazy
    Song – People Are Crazy
    Event – Carrie & Randy
    Video – don’t care
    Musician – no opinion

  23. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    There just isn’t enough good mainstream country music to fill up these ballots anymore, but there also isn’t enough interesting stuff outside the mainstream with a profile high enough to capture voter attention, either.

    I agree that Swift deserves the Entertainer nod. I think that there are about eight or nine artists right now that could be in that category without raising an eyebrow – you could make a case for Carrie, Sugarland, and maybe Alan Jackson.

    But I don’t think there’s an artist that stands out as a clear Entertainer of the Year right now, which makes me think that this is the year that Brad Paisley will finally win, even if his label throws their votes to Chesney.

    Jamey Johnson’s best shot at winning several awards has always been the CMAs. I’ve been saying for months that Album and New Artist are a lock, and Single and Song heavily likely. I’m surprised he didn’t get a Male Vocalist or Video nod, though. If anything slows him down, it will be the long gap of time between “In Color” being a hit and the CMA voting finally happening.

    There would be something kinda funny about Darius Rucker winning New Artist more than a decade after his band won the New Artist Grammy. It would balance out that ten-year gap between Shelby Lynne winning ACM New Female Vocalist and the New Artist Grammy.

  24. I’m surprised Lee Ann Womack and George Strait sneaked in there with “Everything But Quits”! Good to see “Old Enough” in there too!

    I’m loving the album category: I would personally pick Sugarland, but as long as Keith Urban doesn’t win, I’m happy. I like Jamey Johnson, but his album just didn’t connect with me I guess.

  25. JasonNo Gravatar

    This was the first year since 2001 that Alison Krauss didn’t get a single nomination. I kind of thought that after winning Record of the Year at the Grammys “Please Read the Letter” would get a nomination for Musical Event.

  26. There just isn’t enough good mainstream country music to fill up these ballots anymore, but there also isn’t enough interesting stuff outside the mainstream with a profile high enough to capture voter attention, either.

    I completely agree with the first half of that statement, and when I tried to think of a strong counter-example for the second half of it, I couldn’t come up with one. Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart back in the spring– if you’re looking for the annual WTF? Grammy nominee for Best New Artist, there’s a dark horse to star on your racing forms– but it would be a stretch to call much of that record “country” even using the biggest of “big tent” definitions.

    There’s been some terrific music released outside the country mainstream this year, but, as you said, none of it has a sufficiently high profile to land on the CMA voters’ radar. The nods for The Raconteurs and Joey & Rory seem like something of a coup in that regard.

    I agree that Swift deserves the Entertainer nod. I think that there are about eight or nine artists right now that could be in that category without raising an eyebrow – you could make a case for Carrie, Sugarland, and maybe Alan Jackson.

    Swift does deserve her nomination for Entertainer of the Year, and I think Leeann really hit upon why in her post with the link to Swift’s reaction video. While I do think her inferior live performances will (and should) keep her from winning the award, her savant-like ability to know exactly what her audience wants and how she can deliver it to them is something that elevates her above any other currently popular artist. Other musical acts would be wise to emulate some of Swift’s marketing strategies– she understands the web 2.0 model better than just about anyone– even though her dead-on instincts aren’t something that can really be taught.

    She shouldn’t be anywhere near any category with the word “vocal” in its title, but I can respect the nomination for Entertainer of the Year. I didn’t expect that the historically (and presently) conservative CMA would nominate her, but it’s justified. I suppose the difference here, in regard to some of the other discussion in the thread, is that I wouldn’t have thought that Swift had been snubbed had she not been nominated in that category because of the nature of the CMAs themselves, while there’s at least something of that sentiment attached to Underwood’s not having been nominated.

    As for Alan Jackson: When is the last time that his name was completely absent from a CMA ballot?

  27. ZackNo Gravatar

    I’m happy for Swift, NOT happy she’s nominated for EOTY, but happy FOR her.

    My only question(s) is(are):
    -Where are Carrie and Sugarland in the EOTY race?!
    Yes, Underwood and Sugarland have been out of the spotlight recently.. but come on!! They’re the leading acts in music next to Swift and the other 2 big ticket sellers in country music or whatever.
    -Where is “Just A Dream” and “Already Gone”?
    -Where is Lee Ann Womack?!
    I love Lambert, but I want Womack to be nominated instead of her… =/ oh well…

  28. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I know I’m in a teeny tiny minority, but I’m thrilled and frankly a bit shocked that “I Run To You” was nominated for Single. Good for Lady A. I’m not thrilled about the lack of recognition of “Just a Dream,” and am actually kind of scratching my head on that one, especially given that her most moving performance of the song to date was at the CMA Awards.

    I’m not entirely surprised nor sorely disappointed that Taylor squeezed into the EOTY category, but I can understand why some are. I don’t think she’ll win, but I’d much, much, much rather her take this award than FVOTY. I truly hope her FVOTY nod is a courtesy nomination and nothing more.

    I’ve always felt that choosing the EOTY comes down to personal taste, as all the nominees typically fit the mold. I think this year, though, Brad Paisley sticks out a bit for me. I’d love to see him take this.

  29. ZackNo Gravatar

    I must say, I agree with Tara: I’d rather see Swift win EOTY than FVOTY….
    We’ll see in November!

  30. Has there ever been more than one female nominee at a time for Entertainer of the Year?

  31. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    Hmm I don’t think so but I couldn’t confirm that. Unless you count the Dixie Chicks girls?

  32. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I, too, would much rather see Swift win for entertainer over Female vocalist.:)

    other discussion in the thread, is that

    “I wouldn’t have thought that Swift had been snubbed had she not been nominated in that category because of the nature of the CMAs themselves, while there’s at least something of that sentiment attached to Underwood’s not having been nominated.”

    My thoughts exactly.

  33. Remember when these awards shows used to be good?

  34. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    Jackson’s only missed the list once since 1990 (1998). There were a handful of years in the ’70s when a pair of females were included. The Dixie Chicks were nommed in ’99-’00 with Shania (’99) and Faith (’00).

  35. Faith was nominated for Entertainer of the Year? I don’t remember that.

  36. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Ha. According to the Taylor Swift video that I posted, Taylor is the first to be nominated sinceFaith.

  37. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I don’t remember the Faith nomination at all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her get credit for that in the media either?

  38. DiamondNo Gravatar

    Underwood was snubbed a bit for EOTY, but considering she’s a female, and it’s the CMAs, that’s par for the course. I expect her to do another good job hosting, and she’ll be gracious no matter what. I was extremely glad to see Johnson’s nominations. I think Reba could very well win Female Vocalist, thus breaking Carrie’s streak. Kind of a “return of the Queen,” more or less. Not sure about album, but if it’s truly Paisley’s year, he may take home four or five honors. You see that happen on awards shows once in a while.

  39. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar


    Incidentally, I really liked “I Run To You” when the Lady A album first came out, so I can definitely understand why you dig it. I still really admire the production on that song; it has so much energy and passion, especially if you’re listening on a decent sound system and can hear how all the details build up. But I always felt the lyrics kind of sucked, and by the time it got released as a single, it had just totally lost its sparkle for me. I think Lady A are great at creating melodic hooks, but I just don’t feel like they have much to say yet as artists, or else they haven’t figured out how to say it yet.

  40. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I still really admire the production on that song; it has so much energy and passion, especially if you’re listening on a decent sound system and can hear how all the details build up.

    Yes…exactly what captivates me! I’ll admit the lyrics aren’t stellar and are a bit vague, but I’ve always felt the qualities you mentioned above compensate. At least, they do for me in my listening experience. It’ll be interesting, and exciting, to see how these three grow as artists.

  41. johnny123No Gravatar

    yeah, the dixie chicks won EOTY in 2000
    and where nominated in 1999 (shania twain won and 2001(tim mcgraw won )

  42. vpNo Gravatar

    Just disappointed in the voter’s this year it is like they forgot about the 08′ part of the eligbility period.

    I was going to put out a whole bunch of reasons why Carrie should have got nominated for EOTY or even Sugarland, even Rascal Flatts for that matter.

    Those three should havebeen considered before, Taylor and George. I will say I am getting of George taking up spots with his obligatory nominations just cause he is dubbed “King George”.

  43. I will say I am getting of George taking up spots with his obligatory nominations just cause he is dubbed “King George”.

    He is far more worthy than any other nominee.

  44. vpNo Gravatar

    “He is far more worthy than any other nominee.”

    Sorry you are wrong!!! I have saw all the noms this year and even TS is more deserving and that doesn’t say much.

    He just stood there, there was no entertainment, he walk from one side of the stage, back to the middle, to the other and back to the middle. Jamey Johnson was better.

    Like I said he has the recording aspect of the criteria but he really doesn’t contribute in any other way.

  45. He doesn’t need to rely on theatrics onstage to put on a good show.

  46. GavinNo Gravatar

    He doesn’t need to rely on theatrics onstage to put on a good show.

    I agree, but how many shows is he credited for? I don’t remember hearing anything about his tour or if he even had one.

  47. I agree, but how many shows is he credited for? I don’t remember hearing anything about his tour or if he even had one.

    I don’t know. I don’t think it matters how many dates he played.

  48. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Ugh. Turns out “Start A Band” is nominated for Musical Event after all. They made a mistake in transferring it online.

  49. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar

    I really enjoy all the savvy analysis, I personally have no clue about the inner workings of the business, so it’s always interesting to read a lot of these posts. Many here have well-reasoned foundations for their predictions.

    My choices? All I can say is thank Heaven for Jamey Johnson, Joey plus Rory, Miranda Lambert, and Brad Paisley. Other than that, the field seems an artistic wasteland to me.

  50. Dan,

    Do you get the sneaking suspicion like I do that the Raconteurs nom would’ve not been there had they ‘noticed’ this error?

  51. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar


    Yes. So I’m glad the error happened!

  52. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Yeah, I have the same suspicion too. Lame. The one bright spot for the CMAs this year and it was probably a mistake.

  53. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar

    Who are the Raconteurs?

  54. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar

    Thanks Leeann, looking forward to reading Dan’s review.

  55. cuttingthetreacleNo Gravatar

    saw clips of taylor swift from the mtv awards. no wonder she’s up for entertainer of the year. pretty sure kanye sealed her win in that category – country music showing it knows how to treat a lady and all of that

  56. JeffNo Gravatar

    Final voting hasn’t begun yet, so last night may very well produce a “circle the wagons” effect and she wins EOTY.

  57. Maureen McColeNo Gravatar

    Taylor Swift should not win EOTY, nor should she win FVOTY.

    Yes, she has sold a lot of albums. Yes, she is a good songwriter for her age group. But that’s it!!!!

    my guess is that people are sick of Chesney and I agree that this will be Brad’s year to win EOTY.

    Female Vocalist will probably go to Carrie as she was shut out of EOTY this year.

    Male Vocalist should go to George Strait–he’s the best singer on the list. Sorry folks, Brad does not cut it for me.

    Album should go to Jamey Johnson. He’s terrific. or CMA might give it to Taylor cause she ain’t winning FVOTY or EOTY.

    Song should go to In Color, Jamey again.

    I’m not impressed with nominees this year, folks, or their offerings.

    Single will go to “Chicken Fried”.

    Duo – I think Brooks & Dunn will receive their last award for this category capping their 20+ years together.

    Group – prob Rascal Flatts, although they are getting boring too.

  58. Maureen McColeNo Gravatar

    would like to say that I think George Strait’s video “Troubadour” is very classy and should win.

    Musical event of the year – Lee Ann Womack and George Strait. Lee Ann is a powerhouse.

  59. Maureen McColeNo Gravatar

    Another comment: I hope the CMAs do not honor”Fearless” as the album of the year when Jamey Johnson’s “In Color” was superb.

    It amazed me that the ACMs gave Taylor the AOTY nod instead of to George Strait for “Troubadour” which was a far-superior album.

  60. TomNo Gravatar

    would it really be so wrong, if the only global superstar of the genre won one or the other cma-award, maureen? my money is firmly on that outstandingly talented and well managed young lady. and for the record, i think her much criticised vocals fit her material just fine. finally, when it comes to that stupid demographics and age-group nonsense – i may be way out of that target group but my brain still remembers quite fondly one or the other situation that she’s making songs about.

  61. gailNo Gravatar

    If she does win, then what does she strive for later? At nineteen and already at the top…unbelievable and a little my opinion. She’s cute, she’s sweet, has a good personality and droves of young fans. She’s taken over the world basically and without a very strong voice. But later down the road, will she be considered a country icon, pop icon, or a fairy tale princess who rode her white horse to the top of all music genres in a very short period of time. I guess I’m still with the old school and have a lot more respect for the people that started at the bottom and worked hard getting to the top and some still doing that. Sometimes I still feel like crying when I watch the story of Johnny Cash’s, Walk the Line or hear Dolly Parton’s song, Coat of Many Colors, or Loretta Lynn’s, Goal Miners Daughter, for example dipicting there hard lives to get to the top. I don’t really begrudge Taylor’s fast rise, but it’s just not that interesting or memberable…know what I mean. Just wanted to give my 2 cents worth.

  62. gailNo Gravatar

    oops…before I get chastised for my spelling….memorable. lol!

  63. TomNo Gravatar

    i’m totally with you, gail and may add jessica lange in the patsey cline movie but one should not hold anyone’s up-bringing against or in favor of a person. there’s no free lunch in the entertainment business, therefore everything taylor swift achieved is the result of her efforts and deserves, no doubt, some respect. Of course, her circumstances may have been more fortunate than those of some of her peers or predecessors but that’s just the way it is – some girls seem to have all the luck. when it comes to her future career – i’m quite sure there are still quite a few songs waiting to be written and sung by her. l look forward to seeing her taking one step at a time.

  64. BobNo Gravatar

    Taylor Swift gets criticized for her lack of vocal ability and rightly so in my opinion. Yet the darling of the critics, Jamey Johnson, gets a free ride. I don’t dispute his merits as a songwriter, but as a singer he leaves much to be desired.

  65. KnightwalkerNo Gravatar

    gail I see what you are saying, but Taylor has worked her way to where she is since she was 8-9 years old. So to say she got where she is in a short time is sort of misleading in a way, she is and has always been one of the most focused and hardworking people in the music industry. If you watch some of the interviews she did in Australia and other places, she comes across so much more intense and direct than the fluffy interviews given by most American news sources. As for myself, I really really hope that she develops and grows more as she gets older, but at the same time I enjoy what and who she is right now, because if you are always looking for something better and different, you miss out on what might be great right in front of you.

  66. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I don’t believe age should preclude someone from being deserving of an award, even Entertainer.

  67. gailNo Gravatar

    Oh yeah Tom, you are right…didn’t think about the amazing Patsy Cline and her story! Sorry knightwalker….not being mean, but I just don’t see it that way. I cannot for the life of me see her as any more of focused or harder working artist than any of the rest. She is just young and knows what attracts her young fans and grew up in a more technical age. Instead of working her way up by playing smaller clubs and venues…who probably would have laughed in her face, she gets on the internet and reaches out to the younger audience promising them this and that if they buy her music. I sorta look at that as cheating on your final exam…if you know what I mean. But hey, more power to her. If that’s all it took..good for her. Like I said, I don’t begrudge her quick success, but still can’t think of her as an artist that will stand the test of time,and I won’t ever be able to put her in the category with the artist I mentioned. Do you honestly think Taylor could have reached success without the internet?? I’m not complaining…it’s just my thoughts and opinions. I hope all you fans of hers enjoy her for a long time to come and you probably will.

  68. gailNo Gravatar

    Leeann, was your comment directed at me?

  69. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I suppose it was, as far as it was my quick contribution to the discussion, which I think is a good one.

    Just as I don’t think Carrie Underwood deserves flack for getting her start on a talent show and not in the bars, I also don’t hold Taylor Swift’s start against her either. There are a number of respected legends who got their starts in other ways than “paying their dues” in bars or clubs, including Connie Smith (who didn’t even have any intention of singing as a career) meeting Bill Anderson at a local talent show. So, this is not necessarily a new phenomenon that’s exclusive to this generation of music.

  70. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar

    Not to mention all of the artists who were discovered as demo singers, most notably Trisha Yearwood.

  71. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Gail said,

    “Like I said, I don’t begrudge her quick success, but still can’t think of her as an artist that will stand the test of time,and I won’t ever be able to put her in the category with the artist I mentioned. Do you honestly think Taylor could have reached success without the internet??”

    These are really interesting points. I don’t know if she could have achieved what she has without the internet, but that’s the thing: she understands better than just about any act out there how to exploit the power of the internet and give her fans exactly what they want – namely, more access to her, the artist. I don’t think she learned that from record execs, because even record execs have struggled with it. She wouldn’t have anything to sell if her songs didn’t have appeal, and I think that alone is evidence of serious hard work on her part, but it’s also clear she’s been working smarter than a lot of people in marketing terms, which has definitely been equally important.

    I agree that she probably wouldn’t have succeeded trying to perform her way up through bars, but I don’t begrudge her that, because neither would a lot of pop-oriented singers. Pop music today is very much about the production, Taylor’s included, so it wouldn’t have worked for honky tonk performances and the like. And yeah, she’s not a great singer. So that setting wouldn’t have played to her strengths.

    Now, as to whether she’ll stand the test of time – I have no idea. Taylor Swift’s pervasiveness is such that we consume everything she puts out very subjectively. I don’t know if future generations will find her songs objectively good or be absolutely baffled as to why there was hysteria about her. I could really see it going either way.

  72. gailNo Gravatar

    I just didn’t see where I mentioned her not deserving an award. I just was saying I for some reason cannot hold Taylor in the same regards as some of the older artist. And too, Kevin, Trisha at the beginning of her career of being a demo singer is to me nowhere near the giant phenomenon Swift is you think? I think Taylor is sweet and cute…but she just does nothing for me. I cannot in any way consider her a country artist. She may be in the country format and that’s fine but I personally don’t care for her music. Not being mean, it’s just how I feel. Didn’t mean to get any kind of debate started. You know how you click with some artist and some you don’t.

  73. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    My initial comment was responding to this part of your comment:

    “If she does win, then what does she strive for later? At nineteen and already at the top…unbelievable and a little my opinion.”

  74. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    By the way, we welcome healthy, respectful debate here. You brought up points that are on lots of people’s minds, so it’s all certainly worth discussing.

  75. KnightwalkerNo Gravatar

    actually Taylor did play many clubs and bars in Nashville when she first got there. The first show she did that made any kind of news that I know of was when she was introduced at a show Bill Anderson did in 2004 at the Old Hickory Country Club. And she used to play for hours at a little cafe at Stone Harbor in New Jersey when she was 11-12. True she became famous on myspace but she did work her way there first in live cafes, bars etc before that, just like many other artists have and still do.

  76. KnightwalkerNo Gravatar

    Here’s a little theory of mine about one of the reasons Swift stirs up so much animosity from people that love Country and its roots and traditional sound. I think that Swift has proven that she has all the required elements to be a superstar; looks, songwriting ability, charisma and personality and humble attitude, and she had/has the potential to bring a ton of people to country music where they might discover other artists and help to give new life to what we have coming out of Nashville. I think many people that see this potential in her and see that instead of using that talent to create music that fits more neatly into a more traditional country sound, she follows her own instincts and tastes in her music, so that it becomes just more country-pop, no matter how good (or bad, as some of you might say) it is. I think this gives many people a sense of betrayal, she could be helping to rebuild mainstream country as it was, or at least help keep it from sliding down any further. I’m a big admirer of her as a person and I enjoy nearly all of her songs, but I do say that I have hopes that she will rediscover the country she played and listened to years ago and at some point cuts some acoustic albums and songs, leaving out the percussion, rocks guitar and so forth. I don’t think she needs that rock/pop sound to attract a huge fanbase. Maybe someday

  77. Soul Miners DaughterNo Gravatar

    I really thought Sugarland was going to show up BIG this year but I guess those cancellations did them in. Shame.