CMA Awards: Predictions and Personal Picks

The CMA Awards are upon us again, and I must say that this is the most underwhelming lineup I’ve ever seen, and I started watching the show back in 1991. We’ll be back to live blog the festivities on Wednesday night. In the meantime, enjoy our personal picks in each category, along with who we think will actually win.

brad-paisleyEntertainer of the Year

Should Win:
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley – Leeann, Tara
  • George Strait
  • Taylor Swift – Kevin, Dan
  • Keith Urban
Will Win:
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley – Kevin, Leeann, Tara
  • George Strait
  • Taylor Swift – Dan
  • Keith Urban

Kevin: Much like the field finally cleared for him in the Male Vocalist race two years ago, I expect that this is Paisley’s year to win with his sixth nomination. I think Taylor Swift deserves to win, though. There’s no getting around the fact that she’s the biggest thing out there right now.

Leeann: I won’t be shocked (or really even disappointed) if Taylor Swift picks it up, but I really feel it’s finally Brad’s year.

Dan: Swift is the face of the genre right now, and she’s putting out better-written material than many of the veterans in this category. It looks like a race between her and Paisley, and I think she may actually get it.

Tara: It wouldn’t be inappropriate for Swift to take this award, and I would much (understatement) prefer her to win this over the vocalist award. But to me, Paisley is the all-around entertainer, and I think it’s his year to be recognized.

brad-paisleyMale Vocalist of the Year

Should Win:
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley – Leeann, Tara
  • Darius Rucker
  • George Strait – Dan
  • Keith Urban – Kevin
Will Win:
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley – Kevin, Leeann, Dan, Tara
  • Darius Rucker
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban

Leeann: I have no doubt that Paisley will win again, as he  has had a strong year and the CMAs tend to prefer him for this award.  While I think Urban is technically a very worthy opponent, the combination of Paisley’s warm voice and stronger album makes me continue to root for him.  I’d also be just as happy if Strait won, however, and feel that his and Paisley’s albums were the strongest of the year.

Dan: Looks like an easy Paisley win, but I’ll give Strait the nod for all-around strength this past year.

Tara: I don’t anticipate that Paisley’s winning streak will be broken. I’m pulling for him on the strength of his material, but wouldn’t mind one bit if Urban took the award. Just please, CMAs, don’t give it to Rucker!

Kevin: Paisley’s poised to pick up his third trophy, with his only real competition being five-time winner George Strait. I’d give a fourth trophy to previous winner Keith Urban over the rest of the field. He really sang rings around the rest of ‘em when comparing their latest albums.

Carrie Underwood 09Female Vocalist of the Year

Should Win:
  • Miranda Lambert - Leeann
  • Martina McBride
  • Reba McEntire
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood – Kevin, Dan, Tara
Will Win:
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Reba McEntire
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood – Kevin, Leeann, Dan, Tara

Dan: I tend to find Underwood boring, but I do think she released some of her better singles this past year. Swift just isn’t a strong enough vocalist to merit this prize, and I’d rather see Lambert win in a year where she has more momentum going, which could well be next year.

Tara: It will no doubt spark controversy when Underwood takes her fourth trophy and joins the ranks of Reba McEntire and Martina McBride, and that’s another discussion all together – but looking at the nominees for this year, it’s clear she deserves to win. In terms of sheer vocal talent, few artists in the genre come close to her. I’d love to see Lambert take this award (and Underwood would too!), but like Dan, I don’t think it’s her time just yet.

Kevin: I won’t believe a different winner in this race until I see it. I was underwhelmed by the latest albums from Lambert, McBride, McEntire, and Swift, and quite frankly, Underwood is the only lady of the five to put out more than one single this year that I actually really liked (“Just a Dream”, “I Told You So.”) I remain in her corner.

Leeann: Carrie will deserve to win this award when she wins it this year.  I, however, still prefer Lambert’s voice and feel that her output (album) is the most interesting of the nominees.

Sugarland JoeyVocal Duo of the Year

Should Win:

  • Big & Rich
  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Joey + Rory
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Sugarland – Kevin, Leeann, Dan, Tara
Will Win:
  • Big & Rich
  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Joey + Rory
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Sugarland – Kevin, Leeann, Dan, Tara

Tara: Sugarland continues to excite me, and I think they deserve this award again.

Kevin: I love Joey + Rory, but Sugarland have really been blowing me away lately.  I’d pick them for Entertainer if they’d been nominated.

Leeann: I’d technically love for Joey + Rory to win, but I know full well that Sugarland is the duo that truly deserves to win based upon their impact this year.

Dan: Sugarland. But I want to talk to whoever is picking their singles.

lady-antebellum-and-a-chairVocal Group of the Year

Should Win:

  • Eagles
  • Lady Antebellum – Tara
  • Little Big Town
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Zac Brown Band – Kevin, Leeann, Dan

Will Win:

  • Eagles
  • Lady Antebellum – Kevin, Leeann, Dan, Tara
  • Little Big Town
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Zac Brown Band

Kevin: I find Zac Brown Band more interesting, and I think they have a real shot at winning this. I suspect Lady Antebellum has a bit more industry support, though, so I’ll give them the edge.

Leeann: Lady A will win because they’ve got more industry support and popularity with radio, but the Zac Brown Band has certainly put out more interesting music and have a refreshingly unique sound that deserves to be rewarded.

Dan: Pretty much what Kevin and Leeann said. “Chicken Fried” notwithstanding.

Tara: It’s definitely a race between Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum, and I can understand why my co-bloggers are rooting for the former. But even if Lady Antebellum’s talent needs a little cultivating, their music strikes a very personal chord with me, and I’ll be thrilled when they take this award. Can you believe Rascal Flatts might actually walk away from an awards show empty-handed?

zac-bbNew Artist of the Year

Should Win:
  • Randy Houser
  • Jamey Johnson – Dan
  • Jake Owen
  • Darius Rucker
  • Zac Brown Band – Kevin, Leeann, Tara

Will Win:

  • Randy Houser
  • Jamey Johnson – Kevin
  • Jake Owen
  • Darius Rucker – Dan, Leeann, Tara
  • Zac Brown Band

Kevin: A weak lineup that speaks volumes about why country music is where it is today. I think Zac Brown Band should win. They’ve really been the real breakthrough act of the five. But I suspect in this battle of “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” co-writers, Jamey Johnson will emerge victorious.

Leeann: While I’m tempted to root for Jamey Johnson, I think Zac Brown Band has a chance of keeping me intrigued over the next few years (even if they fall out of the mainstream), though I don’t think they’ve reached their potential  just yet.  I predict that Darius Rucker will actually win, however, as he’s been the most successful in the last year.

Dan: Time will tell whether Johnson is able to remain a strong artistic force, but I’d say he has as good a chance as any of these five if he can keep from getting self-important. Rucker is the biggest star on the ballot, though, and I suspect he’ll squeak the win over Johnson and Zac Brown Band.

Tara: Johnson and Zac Brown Band are both deserving recipients of this award, but I personally prefer the band’s music. With the commercial success Rucker’s seen in the past year, though, I think it’s his award to lose. Not too sure how I feel about that.  

thatlonesomesongAlbum of the Year

Should Win:

  • Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song – Leeann, Dan
  • Brad Paisley, American Saturday NightTara
  • Sugarland, Love on the InsideKevin
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless
  • Keith Urban, Defying Gravity
Will Win:
  • Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song – Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • Brad Paisley, American Saturday Night
  • Sugarland, Love on the Inside
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless – Leeann
  • Keith Urban, Defying Gravity

Leeann: While Johnson’s album hasn’t really stuck with me over the past year or so, I still think it’s the best album out of the bunch.  I think Swift will win, however, due to the volume of sales and hit singles.

Dan: All of these albums have strengths, but That Lonesome Song is the only one that makes me optimistic about country music’s future. I expect it to triumph, though Swift’s has a great shot, too.

Tara: Paisley’s album, to me, strikes that sweet balance of traditional and contemporary. I think it’s a strong, interesting and relevant album that epitomizes why Paisley is so deservingly successful. But Johnson will deserve this award when he takes it, and I recognize and appreciate his positive influence on mainstream country music.

Kevin: I expected more nods overall for Jamey Johnson. I think that the eligibility period hurt him, with the project less fresh in voters’ minds. But the CMA values traditional country more than any other awards organization, so I expect him to win this. I enjoy the Sugarland album far more than any of the other four, so I’m rooting for that one.

Jamey smile 2Single of the Year

Should Win:

  • “Chicken Fried” – Zac Brown Band
  • “I Run to You” – Lady Antebellum
  • “In Color” – Jamey Johnson – Kevin, Leeann, Dan, Tara
  • “People Are Crazy” – Billy Currington
  • “Then” – Brad Paisley
Will Win:
  • “Chicken Fried” – Zac Brown Band
  • “I Run to You” – Lady Antebellum
  • “In Color” – Jamey Johnson – Kevin, Leeann, Tara
  • “People Are Crazy” – Billy Currington – Dan
  • “Then” – Brad Paisley

Dan: I’ve just got a bad feeling about that Currington single. “I Run To You” does have some smokin’ production, but “In Color” is the only one of the five I can still stand.

Tara: Ouch. I’m pleased that “I Run to You” is nominated as it’s a personal favorite, but I don’t think any song other than “In Color” is deserving of this award. Again…ouch.

Kevin: This is the weakest lineup in the history of this category.

Leeann: Johnson’s song feels old to me now, but it’s the best song in this underwhelming category, though I’m sure David Letterman disagrees.  While I like the production on “People Are Crazy” the best in this line-up, the hook (not to mention the frustratingly weak story development) is just lame.

randy-travisSong of the Year

Should Win:
  • “Chicken Fried” – Zac Brown & Wyatt Durette
  • “I Told You So” – Randy Travis – Kevin, Leeann, Tara
  • “In Color” – Jamey Johnson – Dan
  • “People Are Crazy” – Bobby Braddock & Troy Jones
  • “Then” – Chris Dubois, Ashley Gorley & Brad Paisley
Will Win:
  • “Chicken Fried” – Zac Brown & Wyatt Durette
  • “I Told You So” – Randy Travis – Leeann
  • “In Color” – Jamey Johnson – Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • “People Are Crazy” – Bobby Braddock & Troy Jones
  • “Then” – Chris Dubois, Ashley Gorley & Brad Paisley

Tara: I would absolutely love to see Travis take this award; Underwood’s success with the song proves that the best-written country songs are timeless. I think “In Color” has more pull, though.

Kevin: I think Johnson will win, but kudos to Carrie Underwood for recognizing the value of the Randy Travis-penned gem and making it a hit all over again.

Leeann: This is not one of my favorite Randy Travis songs, but for nostalgia’s sake, I’m rooting for him to win this one. I even think it has a chance of winning, since it was a hit song for one of today’s country music’s most popular artists. I think the Paisley composition is, by far, the weakest though.

Dan: I like probable-winner “In Color” marginally more than “I Told You So.” Any of the other three winning would hurt me way down deep.

randy-travis-and-carrie-underwoodMusical Event of the Year

Should Win:

  • “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 – Kevin, Tara
  • “Old Enough” – The Raconteurs with Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe – Leeann, Dan
  • “Start a Band” – Brad Paisley and Keith Urban
Will Win:
  • “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 – Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • “Old Enough” – The Raconteurs with Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe
  • “Start a Band” – Brad Paisley and Keith Urban – Leeann

Kevin: Will the CMA really pass up the chance to give a trophy to Randy Travis for the first time in 21 years? I hope not.

Leeann: Paisley’s and Urban’s collaboration was originally accidentally left off the ballot, but the superstar pairing is the most likely to win.  Conversely, I suspect that the inclusion of the collaboration with Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe was likely an accident, but I’d still love to see this dark horse nomination win. It’s certainly the most interesting song of the category.  I might have gone for the Underwood/Travis pairing if Travis’ inclusion didn’t seem so random.  I liked Underwood’s original version better, as Vince Gill’s harmony seemed more natural.

Dan: It’s totally between “I Told You So” and “Start A Band”, but I’m pulling for the underdog Raconteurs record, too. I like my collaborations a little spontaneous like that, and it’s always great to see outsiders included in the CMA fold.

Tara: While I have a particular soft spot for “Down the Road,” which I thought was one of the best singles of 2008, it should come as no surprise that I’m pulling for the beautiful, rough-and-pure “I Told You So.” I think it will easily win.

george_straitMusic Video of the Year

Should Win:
  • “Boots On” – Randy Houser
  • “Love Story” – Taylor Swift
  • “People Are Crazy” – Billy Currington
  • “Start a Band” – Brad Paisley and Keith Urban
  • “Troubadour” – George Strait – Kevin, Dan, Tara
Will Win:
  • “Boots On” – Randy Houser
  • “Love Story” – Taylor Swift – Kevin, Dan, Tara
  • “People Are Crazy” – Billy Currington
  • “Start a Band” – Brad Paisley and Keith Urban
  • “Troubadour” – George Strait

Dan: I enjoy the Strait video most, but Swift’s is the flashiest, and that tends to win out.

Tara: Strait’s video is poignant and tastefully done. I never understood the appeal of Swift’s Shakespearean video, but apparently a whole generation of country music fans does. My money’s on Swift.

Kevin: I think the Swift fairytale will get the most votes, but the Strait clip hypnotizes me every time it’s on. Who knew a simple slide show could be so powerful and such a perfect fit for a song?

paul-franklinMusician of the Year
Should Win:
  • Eddie Bayers (drums)
  • Paul Franklin (steel guitar) – Kevin, Leeann, Dan, Tara
  • Dan Huff (guitar)
  • Brent Mason (guitar)
  • Mac McAnally (guitar)

Will Win:

  • Eddie Bayers (drums)
  • Paul Franklin (steel guitar)
  • Dan Huff (guitar)
  • Brent Mason (guitar)
  • Mac McAnally (guitar) – Kevin, Leeann, Dan, Tara

Dan: I should really start paying more attention to this kind of thing. But I know Paul Franklin’s been doing steel for everyone from Lyle Lovett to Rascal Flatts in the past year. Respek!

Tara:
Franklin’s the one I’m most familiar with, and I agree with Kevin and Dan that he deserves it. I’ll admit I’m not entirely sure how to gauge who’ll win this year, but I suppose I’d go with McAnally again.

Kevin: I guess that McAnally will repeat his victory from last year. The other previous winners won quite a bit of time ago – Dann Huff in 2001 and 2004, Brent Mason in 1997 and 1998.  My sympathy goes to Eddie Bayers, who is nominated for the tenth time and has yet to win. I have no choice but to pull for Paul Frankin, though, who has lost this award sixteen times.  Here’s hoping that seventeen’s a charm!

Leeann: Please don’t let it be Dann Huff! That’s all I ask.  Of course, I’m partial to the steel guitar, not to mention that it’s a shame that a steel guitar player has to work so hard to win a country music award.

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83 Comments

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83 Responses to CMA Awards: Predictions and Personal Picks

  1. StephenNo Gravatar

    Kevin, we actually have the same exact prediticons, haha. I hope Paisley takes EOTY, but I know Swift deserves it most.

    Play On review?

  2. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    I’m having trouble stringing together words for a Play On review. For now I’ll say that I think it’s her strongest album to date and I really like a good chunk of the tracks.

  3. StephenNo Gravatar

    Well hopefully soon. CU is my favorite country blog so I can’t wait to read a review from you guys.

  4. AndieNo Gravatar

    kevin, carrie fans appreaciate everything you have to say about carrie, there is a lot of respect for you and we are waiting for your review of play on

  5. JoJoNo Gravatar

    My preditions:

    Entertainer: Brad Paisley
    Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley
    Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood
    Duo: Montgomery Gentry
    Group: Lady A
    New Artist: Darius Rucker
    Single: “People Are Crazy”
    Song: “In Color”
    Vocal Event: “I Told You So”
    Album: American Saturday Night
    Video: “Love Story” (Why is Just A Dream not nominated??)

  6. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    Told you, Kevin :)

  7. EOTY:I think Brad Paisely will deservantly win this one. He released the strongest album of the pack during the eligibility period and he is the most well-rounded out of the five of them. To be completely honest I don’t really care who wins all that much, I’m still pretty mad that Sugarland didn’t even get nominated.
    MV: Once again I don’t really care to much about this catoegory so I’ll give my support to Paisely with Urban being a close second.
    FV: Without out a doubt in my mind Miranda Lambert deserves this awards, but of course it will once again go to Carrie. I do agree though that Carrie released two of her strongest singles (“Just a Dream” and “I Told You So”), but “Cowboy Casanova is pretty big minus in my books. Plus, Miranda’s latest album is amazing.
    Duo of the Year: Sugarland should win this one and I think they have a very good shot at winning, but with B&D having announced that they’re breaking up I wouldn’t be surprised if the CMA’s decide to give this one to them as a parting gift.
    Group of the Year: I think Lady A should win this one, but I’ve never really listened to a Zac Brown Band single after “Chicken Fried”, so I’m kind of biased. I still think Rascal Flatts are going to win this one this year, though.
    I’m kind of short on time right now so I’ll post the rest of predictions/wishlist later.

  8. FrannyNo Gravatar

    I am rooting for Brad for EOTY. A satisfactory runner up would be Keith Urban, or even Kenny again. But Taylor?? Are they for real??

    My problem with Taylor is that most of her success if from remixing her songs to pop and pandering to pop radio. How is that being a successful “Country” Entertainer?

    Her fans are still pop fans, and they are not exactly buying Kellie Pickler’s albums in droves despite the fact that she is Taylor’s BFF. So I wonder how she is really helping the genre, since her pop fans are still pop fans, and could care less about supporting other country artists besides Taylor? Other then Taylor, they still hate country music and likely always will.

    I do not think Taylor Should or Will win Entertainer her first time out. Honestly, Carrie Underwood should have been nominated this year over both taylor and George. But anyway….

    Taylor’s show is mostly costume changes and fairy tales to distract you from the bad vocals…with very little substantive songs. Her voice is horrible live, and surely live vocals are at least a factor in determining Entertainer of the Year. If the overall experience is not entertaining due to the bad vocals, how can she deserve to win?

  9. KNo Gravatar

    My predictions:

    Entertainer: Swift. I also would rather see her win this than Female Vocalist.

    Male Vocalist: Paisley. Although I perfer Urban’s voice and body of work over Pasley’s, he’s had a very strong year, and the awards shows seem to favor him in this category.

    Female Vocalist: Underwood. Although she’s been fairly quiet this year, the awards voters love her, she continues to give the best live performances around, and she was chosen to host the CMA’s again, which gives her an edge in my book. This award will lose all credibility if it goes to Swift.
    Duo: Sugarland, but I think they will give the award to Brooks and Dunn.

    Group: I’m actually pretty surprised that the majority think Lady A will take this. I think the Flatts are still the strongest contenders, bar-none. I believe Unstoppable had the biggest opening of any country album this year, their last few singles have gone top ten, and they sold out Wrigley Field and Columbus Crew Stadium. They also have endorsement deals with Wendy’s and JC Penny, and I think they are doing a promo spot with Life Is A Highway for something in Nashvile.

    New Artist: I’m leaning towards the Zach Brown Band on this, but I could see it going to Johnson or Rucker just as easily. As much as I like Rucker’s contribution to the genre, I really hope he doesn’t win this.

    Single: “In Color”, although for some reason I could see voters giving to Paisley (ouch).

    Vocal Event: I really hope Carrie and Randy take this. But I could see “Start A Band” winning as well. This would be a huge mistake in my opinion though; it’s catchy, yes, but incredibly weak next to some of the others here. For some reason I could even see Brooks and Dunn winning here, especially because they have won in the past.

    Music Video: I think the CMA’s will go with Strait on this one.

    Kevin: I’m pretty surprised you think “Play On” is Carrie’s strongest album so far; it’s been pretty panned all across the board from what I’ve read. I do enjoy the album though, and I enjoyed hearing the different sides of her voice and songwriting skills.

  10. ZackNo Gravatar

    my picks:
    MV:”Troubadour” George Strait
    MEoY:”Cowgirls Don’t Cry” Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
    Song:”I Told You So” Randy Travis
    Single:”I Run To You” Lady Antebellum
    AoTY:Love On The Inside; Sugarland
    NAoTY:Darius Rucker (LOT of success)
    VG:Lady Antebellum
    VD:Sugarland
    Male:Darius Rucker(same)
    Female: Reba
    EoTY: Taylor Swift

    should:
    MV:”Troubadour” George Strait
    MEoY:”I Told You So” Carrie Underwood featuring Randy Travis
    Song:”I Told You So” Randy Travis
    Single:”In Color” Jamey Johnson
    AoTY:Love On The Inside; Sugarland
    NAoTY:Darius Rucker (LOT of success)
    VG:Lady Antebellum
    VD:Sugarland
    Male:Darius Rucker(same)
    Female: Reba
    EoTY: Brad Paisley

    will win:
    MV:”Love Story” Taylor Swift
    MEoY:”Start A Band” Brad Paisley with Keith Urban
    Song:”In Color” Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller, & James Otto
    Single:”Chicken Fried” Zac Brown Band
    AoTY:Fearless; Taylor Swift
    NAoTY:Darius Rucker
    VG:Rascal Flatts
    VD:Brooks & Dunn
    Male:Brad Paisley
    Female: most likely Carrie Underwood
    EoTY: Taylor Swift

    thoughts:
    MV: Where is Just A Dream?
    MEoTY: pretty hilarious that the CMAs screwed up and forgot to put Brad and Keith on the ballot. xD
    Song: ewww.
    Single: No, No, No, No, NO. Is the CMA high or something?!
    Duo: Despite Sugarland’s massive success in the past year, the academy will most likely award Brooks & Dunn, due to their breaking up in 2010.

    Female:
    Lee Ann Womack should’ve gotten nominated over Lambert, due to commercial success, plus Lambert was pretty quiet in the past year. Lambert hasn’t done much in the past year, Swift is not one of the strongest vocalists, and McBride has had comericial success, but not as much as McEntire and Underwood. Thus, we are left with McEntire and Underwood. If the CMA ignores Underwood’s early year success, then McEntire has a chance to win her fifth female vocalist trophy. Swift could win, but I don’t think she has enough vocal talent to win.

    EoTY:
    -Kenny Chesney
    -I think his streak stops here, he has been very quiet at radio and hasn’t had a major album/single.
    -Brad Paisley
    -I think this is Paisley’s year, he has had lots of success at radio and a moderate album release.
    -George Strait
    -He might win, but he hasnt had as much sucess as Brad or Taylor at radio.
    -Taylor Swift
    -She is the first solo female to be nominated since Faith Hill in 2000 and first female act to be nominated since the dixie chicks in 2001. She is unrivaled with her record sales and success at radio and tours.
    -Keith Urban
    -He is one of the few that manage to still get consistant radio airplay.

    Brad and Taylor are the only two who would be logical choices for the win. (based on success, sales, etc.)

  11. gailNo Gravatar

    Man, I still don’t and never will understand why you guys think Brad Paisley is so great! You all love his album but it’s not selling as good as Keith Urban’s. I much prefer to hear Keith sing any day than Brad and perform as well! I know you all don’t think he will but I’m hoping it’s Keith’s year to win EOTY again. I saw Taylor when she was with Keith. She didn’t have a country concert. She performed a choreographed musical. Nothing spontaneous in her show at all. She got a good response from her shrieking younger fans but when Keith came on, I thought the roof was going to come off the place. She may win, but she is not the entertainer that Keith is by any means. But if Keith doesn’t win entertainer than I’d rather see Taylor or George win it than Brad. Like I’ve always said, he verges on boredom to me.

  12. BobNo Gravatar

    Re MV, Tara says “Just please, CMAs, don’t give it to Rucker!”
    Re New Artist, Tara says “With the commercial success Rucker’s seen in the past year, though, I think it’s his award to lose. Not too sure how I feel about that.” With her use of the exclamation point after her MV comment, it’s not to hard to guess.

  13. BobNo Gravatar

    oops! it’s not too hard to guess.

  14. LaraNo Gravatar

    Entertainer – I hope Brad, but I have a feeling Taylor will get it.

    Male Vocalist – Brad will take this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to Keith either, though.

    Female Vocalist – I think this will go to Carrie Underwood. As long as Taylor doesn’t get it I will be satisfied. She doesn’t have half the vocal talent of those other ladies.

    Vocal Duo – I’m hoping Sugarland, but I can see B&D getting it too.

    Vocal Group – I REALLY hope Lady A gets it.

    Album of the Year – Probably Fearless. There’s no denying its success.

    Single of the Year – I’m personally hoping for People are Crazy, but I agree with you guys – In Color will probably take it.

    Song of the Year – I pray Randy Travis wins. Imagine that. Wasn’t ITYS originally recorded in 1988 or something?

    Musical Event – Underwood/Travis.

    Music Video – I love People are Crazy, but Swifty will probably take this one, too.

  15. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    Bob, I was worried I was going to come off as a Rucker-hater, because I’m really not. He has a great voice — I’ve always known that — but, oddly, his live performances have rubbed me the wrong way, and I’ve only enjoyed one of his singles so far. I just don’t think he’s nearly as interesting as some of the other new acts.

  16. DiamondNo Gravatar

    I kind of hope Swift wins EOY just so I can sit back and watch the reaction around the country music world. But I am probably pulling for Paisley.

    My biggest rooting interest is for Travis and Underwood to win. It’s part nostalgia–I would really enjoy seeing Randy accepting a CMA again–and it’s also because I think they deserve it. But we shall see.

    Finally, more than the actual awards, I hope for some great live performances, and some unique pairings of artists who will honor the genre. I’m not holding my breath after recent CMA shows, but I can hope, right?

  17. highwayman3No Gravatar

    I dont agree with the reasoning to give Brooks & Dunn Duo of the year just because they announced they are quitting. They didn’t have a good year success wise so they don’t deserve a win in the slightest way next to Sugarland’s big year. They already have about 10 of those trophy’s at home, they probably have fogotten what years they won them so giving them one more would be a waste, its just silly to deny Sugarland a win after this year just to give them one more award, they got enough thanks over the years already.

  18. vpNo Gravatar

    ETOY – Brad, I saw him twice this year and he puts on a great COUNTRY concert! I’ve seen all the acts. George is boring but has content, Keith is an entertainer but not really country to me, Kenny now I could see it going to him because he supposedly won’t be touring next year, but his show was really all about the production of all the acts accumulated, and Swift well my young nieces loved it, (they daid Carrie was better last year)I almost wanted to tell all the screeching kids to shut up and her show is like a play. If she shook her hair around anymore I think it may have fallen out, though I could see her possibly getting it, then the aftermath would be something to see.

    MVOTY – Brad again, his album can’t be denied and he just scored his 11th straight #1, I don’t see anyone challenging that.

    FVOTY – Underwood not a doubt, her work may have been at the start of the eligability period her vocals were untouchable. If Swift wins it will be a scare on the CMA showing that they don’t follow the criteria. Reba had a good run this year but not good enough. Miranda has all the goods just not enough backing (which she deserves to have) to push her into the same league as Underwood.

    DOTY – Sugarland of course, their album had big sales, and their singles have been consistant. Although MG had a good year with singles as well. I do agree with some that say B&D could get it, with their announcement of their split.

    VGOTY – Lady A has had commercial success this year, but Flatts have just dominated for so long I’m not sure it if Lady’s single and only #1 will be enough.

    NAOTY – Darius 3 singles all #1 that is an achievemnt. ZBB has also had 3 strong singles this year.

    AOTY – Paisley’s deserves on content alone, but I could see Swift getting on sheer sales.

    MVOTY – Just A Dream oh wait it was over looked! If I had to choose another Troubador was a great video and look into Strait’s life.

    MEOTY – Travis/Underwood, to have the opportunity to give Travis an award for a twenty year old song that Underwood remaster would be something special. But Paisley/Urban are two of the big boys and some might think that is enough.

  19. KNo Gravatar

    Although I don’t think Brooks and Dunn deserve the Duo award just because they’re retiring, it’d be just like the CMA’s to do such a thing.

    If they do give Sugarland the award, there will be a big splash, and the academy will probably make them their award, like they did for Garth Brooks with the Crystal Milestone Award.

    But they are the most awarded duo in country music history, so they will get something.

    I don’t get the hype over Paisley, either; I’m shocked Urban doesn’t get more attention than him.

  20. checooNo Gravatar

    i would like to say that in response to frannys comments about Taylor.. i am a huge fan of Taylors and ..wait for it … I DO LISTEN TO OTHER COUNTRY ACTS wow amazing isn’t it ??? I love Keith Urban ..seen him in concert actually ..is that a pop act by any means ..NO!..and i listen to Maranda Lambert , Reba , Lady Antabellum , and i am a huge fan of Sugerland …so before you go off on Taylor fans only being pop fans i think you sould open your eyes and stop thinking of music as generas but just that music :) k thanks by the way just watch her win ETOY..ill be smileing because all you old country fans are not gonna like it ;)

  21. chrisNo Gravatar

    umm as i was reading the female vocalists thoughts i really hope tara wasn’t implying that some girl from a game show that was created and marketed to do hat she has done and has no real talent or ability to do anything artistic with out some machine behind her sings better then REBA MCENTIRE who i agree has had her hayday and doesnt really need another award but i think to say carrie sings better then her is just wrong is so many different ways i think taylor should win this award or miranda carrie doesnt deserve 1 let alone 4 and to be in a category of women who have won it 4 times makes me wanna throw up

  22. AljidNo Gravatar

    chris..please articulate, re-arrange, rephrase your comments properly. I couldn’t really understand a single thought or expression from, is that a paragraph?

  23. moeseyNo Gravatar

    No one has more success than George Strait. Give the award to George (and deservedly so) for EOTY. If they give it to TS, they are making a great mistake.

    Video of the year should go to Troubadour–simple but powerful. Male Vocalist should go to George (if he doesn’t win the EOTY). There’s no comparison with the others nominated.

  24. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar

    Always interesting dialog folks, my choices for “should win” would be somewhat different from the majority staff picks, however.

    I’ll be rooting for Miranda, Brad, Jamey Johnson, Joey and Rory for their categories, although I wouldn’t mind seeing the ZBB pick up a few.

    As for the “will win” choices, I am hopelessly innacurate there and shouldn’t second guess anybody, I defer to the staff predictions on this.

  25. BobNo Gravatar

    Tara, Your “not too sure how I feel” comment in relation to the new artist category seemed a bit disingenuous to me after you singled out Rucker as being unworthy of the MV award – no other artist merited such an emphatic plea from you to the CMA’s in any other category. Your clarification of your position on the new artist category that he isn’t as interesting I can relate to since I find Strait and Chesney’s music extremely boring which I’m sure is heresy in country music.

    In the MV category, I’m rooting for Brad even though Urban is the better vocalist. Urban’s last 2 cds have featured unimpressive material and I love “American Saturday Night”. I think that Rucker is a good rather than great vocalist. In the competition, I would rate him 3rd in a weak field ahead of Strait and Chesney.

    In the new artist category, I would give it to Lady A or Zac. I thought that the performance by Charles Kelley in last year’s CMA’s was one of the few highlights of the show along with Sugarland. I don’t think Darius or any other cross-over artist who has had notable success in another genre should be eligible for a new artist award. In a way, it’s disrespectful to the other genre – like saying you’re not an artist until you sing country.

    I think that the FV category is very weak. Too bad that the best aren’t eligible – Trisha Yearwood and Jennifer Nettles.

  26. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Bob,
    I disagree that Rucker shouldn’t be in the new category. I don’t think it’s disrespectful, but rather, the fact that he was in another genre shouldn’t preclude him from the pressure of proving himself in this one. I actually don’t think he should be in the Male Vocalist category yet.

    I agree with Tara’s Rucker analysis, though I think she’s being more generous about his voice. I liked it better with Hootie. I think he kind of stunts it on his country record though, not to mention the weak material throughout the album. Considering his knowledge and good country music taste (which I know he has), I expected lots better from him.

  27. AaronNo Gravatar

    I think this is a tough year to call predictions for but I’m gonna try haha

    Entertainer: I’m going with Brad Paisley. I think it’s about time he wins one!

    Male Vocalist: It’s Brad’s to lose this year.

    Female Vocalist: A catfight between Carrie and Taylor but I’m thinking the CMA will side with Carrie.

    Vocal Group: I’m praying and keeping my fingers crossed for a Lady Antebellum win.

    Vocal Duo: It’s a lock for Sugarland to win their 3rd title.

    New Artist: With 3 number 1 singles and a platinum album, this is Darius Rucker’s award.

    Album: I’m pulling for Brad’s American Saturday Night but I’m thinking Jamey Johnson’s That Lonesome Song will finally win an award.

    Single: I’m rooting for Lady A’s “I Run to You” but I’m thinking Johnson’s “In Color” will win.

    Song: Though Johnson will most likely take it, I’m hoping for a Randy Travis upset.

    Musical Event: Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis.

    Video: Taylor Swift’s glammed up video will win over George’s video.

  28. AaronNo Gravatar

    I just read an article about Taylor and her nomination in Entertainer of the Year that mention how Reba McEntire voted for Swift. If she gets more support like that, I’m thinking Swift, unfortunately, will win this year. However, that’s only one vote so we’ll have to see I guess.

    By the way, has anyone noticed the big deal they’re making EOTY this year?? I noticed on all of the ABC promo’s they mention the race for Entertainer. It’s interesting to me since in past years they never really mentioned it before.

  29. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    “I Told You So” was nommed for Song of the Year in ’88, so it should’ve been ineligible this year no matter how great a rendition it was (it’s OK, but not perfect).

    I’m not surprised that Reba would vote for the lone female in the category, and I don’t think it helps predict a winner in any way.

    If I were a voter, I’d have a hard time not leaving my ballot blank for the Female Vocalist race. Underwood and Lambert were still working their 2007 discs in the eligibility period, Reba released 1.5 singles and Martina was barely a blip on the radar. Taylor, though I agree she’s been a terrific entity for country music in the last year, hasn’t shown the vocal talent in live and recording perfs to justify a win. She’s much more deserving of Entertainer.

  30. SDNo Gravatar

    I’m pretty sure Carrie will get FVOTY, but I’m not sure how I feel about her garnering her 4th trophy on the strength of 2 albums. I think I’d much rather Miranda Lambert get FV but the chances of that seem really slim.

  31. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I don’t think the fact that the song was nominated before should make it ineligible now if somebody recorded the song and made it a hit now. I think it’s fair game.

  32. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    Oh, Leeann, I disagree! (laughs) I think Single of the Year would be appropriate, but rewarding a song twice seems icky to me. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” won twice for some odd reason in the ’80s and “Whiskey Lullaby” won on its second try, but I just feel these songs have been recognized already, and there are other new and deserving songs that have earned a shot. Though maybe not this year. :)

  33. Blake BoldtNo Gravatar

    My CMA prediction, by the way, is that I’m going to pretty peeved the ceremony is putting Modern Family on hiatus for a week.

  34. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I believe that if a song is supposedly well enough written to be recorded more than once, it’s more than deserving of being nominated more than once. I think that single of the year is definitely more solidly appropriate though.

  35. CarsonNo Gravatar

    I’m sorry, but I really don’t see how logically, unless the Academy plays biase this year, that George Strait can take home anything.

    He has had some success with “Troubadour”, I will give him that. And he is critically acclaimed for almost everything he does, but he just does not have the support in this new generation of country music radio and fans.

    I partly think that he’s only in here because country traditionalists love him, though a large part of radio listeners have moved onto other acts. Reba McEntire is another name on the list that makes me say, “What? She’s in here”, but she definitely has had more success lately than Strait.

    Taylor Swift is really the only one I can see winning EOTY. Brad Paisley has had some success, and he has a fantastic live show, but his album’s popularity and single popularity look minimal when compared next to Swift. Her tour sold out in every city it visited, all her singles went to number one and she is the top selling artist out of ALL GENRES. You have to give her some acclaim for her live tour, she is only 19 years old and delivers a 2 hour long show, and despite the fact she has had all this crossover success, the “Fearless Tour” is a COUNTRY tour. Kellie Pickler and Gloriana are opening up for her, not some rap or pure pop act.

    And on the subject of Rucker, I think most of his singles are enjoyable, I proudly know all the words to “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About it” and “Alright”, but his songs just feel kind of forgettable, especially “History in the Making” (his latest).

    Just my thoughts.

  36. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    There has been a long-standing rule with both Horizon/New Artist and Song that a song can be nominated twice, with the only change in that rule being that a song can no longer be nominated for a second time if it wins the first time around. (This was becoming a problem in the early 80s, when “He Stopped Loving Her Today” won twice in a row, then “Always On My Mind” did the same.)

    The winning on second try has been fairly common in this category. “Whiskey Lullaby”, “Chattahoochee, “When I Call Your Name”, and “God Bless the U.S.A.” being some of the more recent examples.

    Also, some songs weren’t nominated in their first year of eligibility at all, but went on to be nominated and then win in their second year of eligibility anyway, like “Independence Day” and “This Kiss.”

    Amazingly, Alan Jackson had two songs that were nominated twice in a row, and they actually overlapped in one year! Both “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” and “Here in the Real World” were nominated twice, both of them in 1991. “Rock” also got the nod in 1992, while “Real World” brought Jackson one of his first CMA nominations in 1990.

  37. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    @ Carson

    Regarding George Strait, he’s still selling just as well as his peers and he’s still just as successful at radio.

    There have always been artists who outsell him at the moment, going all the way back to the beginning of his career: Alabama, The Judds, Randy Travis, Clint Black, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Brooks & Dunn, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson, Keith Urban, and on and on.

    The difference? George Strait keeps selling platinum even as the others drop down below that level. (Okay, it hasn’t happened with Shania and the Chicks quite yet, but they’re not outselling them anything like they did in their heyday.)

  38. JoJoNo Gravatar

    What is the chance of “Just A Dream” being nominated as song of the year next year? I still am confused as to how it did not make it on the ballot this year..it is a much stronger song than 3 of the nominees. Am I the only one who thinks it should have for sure been a nominee?? I am also surprised “Sissy’s Song” was not nominated in this category..

  39. KNo Gravatar

    “Regarding George Strait, he’s still selling just as well as his peers and he’s still just as successful at radio. ”

    Yeah, Strait sells, but when you compare selling gold or platinum certifications to artists like Swift and Underwood, it isn’t too impressive.

    Strait isn’t that successful at radio, either. His songs may eventually reach the top ten or number one after several weeks, but he is hardly a hot comodatity at radio when compared to some of his younger peers.

    I’ve heard nothing of his tours, which means he may not be pulling in the huge numbers.

    I know some people are impressed that Strait continues to sell some albums and concert tickets after all these years, but considering these awards are based on accomplishments in a single year, Strait doesn’t deserve to be the category.

    I’m also baffled at the shunning of the “Just A Dream” video. In my opinion, the recorded vocal should be included among the top two of her best vocal performances.

    The video was done very well, and Carrie did a decent job as an atcress.

    Compared to the meek songs by Paisley, ZBB, and Currington, this song is an absolute masterpiece.

  40. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    K said: “Yeah, Strait sells, but when you compare selling gold or platinum certifications to artists like Swift and Underwood, it isn’t too impressive.” ,

    Nobody is selling like Swift or Underwood, so that point doesn’t quite work; otherwise, the nominations could only go to those two artists. Strait is selling as well as his peers on the ballot and has been consistent in the market for thirty years. At fifty-seven, that is actually very impressive.

  41. KNo Gravatar

    I certaintly don’t deny that Strait is a legend and his acheievements are extremely impressive and deserve to be commended.

    What I do take issue with though is that the award is for Entertainer Of The Year; Strait deserves artist of the decade, but he hasn”t done enough this year to warrant a win or even nomination.

  42. Cory DeSteinNo Gravatar

    What am I missing in Miranda Lambert? Everyone seems to feel she is so artistic and traditional……..im not seeing it?

  43. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Ha, Cory, I feel that we’ve been through this discussion/debate a time or two already?

    I wouldn’t call her traditional. She’s definitely not traditional, though she can sing a mean traditional country song when she chooses. Personally, I don’t care if someone is traditional country, as long as what they’re doing is really good and you can still place it in the genre. That’s why I like Shania Twain. She wasn’t especially traditional (though she had some good traditional sounding songs by today’s standards), but she did pop country very well. I think Lambert does rock country extremely well.

  44. AaronNo Gravatar

    I’ve heard nothing of his tours, which means he may not be pulling in the huge numbers. (via K)

    I’m guessing you haven’t heard that he sold out the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium…has Swift sold out a stadium show yet?? I think George’s consistent success warrants nominations, though I don’t think he’ll take home any awards this year. Also, he had a fairly successful tour this year with Blake Shelton and Julianne Hough and of course Twang was a great seller for him.

  45. CarsonNo Gravatar

    I do give credit to George Strait for lasting this long, despite the fact that many country artists he competed with on the charts for the past decade have vanished. It’s great that his name is still relatively known, whereas many artists have washed out or are out of the limelight at the moment

    I just don’t think that George is worthy to be in that category when comparing his lengthy moderate success to Swift’s incredibly busy year or even when compared to Kenny Chesney, who hasn’t even done that much this year.

    Someone said the Academy would give the Duo award just out of nostalgia to Brooks and Dunn because of their split. I feel that all these George Strait nods and wins and partly nostalgia from the voters for this good ole country boy who has been here for years.

    On the subject of Lambert, I wish she would finally have
    some success. I really do think her latest, “Revolution” is my favorite CD of the year. She really does need to release
    some stronger singles. Definitely didn’t agree with releasing “Dead Flowers” as an opener.

  46. BTNo Gravatar

    What’s wrong with you people? Taylor will sweep all categories including female, male, duo and group. She’s just that good!

    Ok maybe not but she has a great shot at EOTY. Many #1s + writes her songs + biggest record sales + huge sold out tour = win. Also they like to reward youth, so Taylor being young and different, a teen bringing the teen demo into country helps. They will also consider that she has done more TV shows and movies than everyone.

  47. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    I hate to beat the Strait thing to death, but I can’t get over people suggesting that he’s only nominated for nestalgia’s sake. I don’t expect everyone to like his music, but the factual evidence supports that he is still having more than moderate success alongside his peers in the business right now. His current album, Twang, has gone gold in under three months. He still has stadium shows and he’s had multiple top five songs in the last year (a couple even going number one). I’m just not sure why there’s contention about his validity on the nomination ballot. And this is putting his thirty year consistency and age factors aside.

  48. KevinNo Gravatar

    The Strait comments imply a general disrespect and undercurrent of ageism that assumes only the young and new have valid contributions worth celebrating.

  49. BobNo Gravatar

    Kevin, My comment that “I find Strait and Chesney’s music extremely boring which I’m sure is heresy in country music” had nothing to do with ageism. It’s my opinion of his music which is valid for me. I don’t deny Mr. Strait’s accomplishments. His fans are amazingly loyal and I don’t question their love of his efforts.

    I don’t assume that only the young and new have valid contributions worth celebrating. I just commented favorably on your Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number about 64 year old Ronnie Milsap. I do lament that while Strait gets all this airplay, over 50 artists who TO ME are far more talented (I don’t expect everyone to agree), can’t get their music heard – artists like Hal Ketchum, Suzy Bogguss, Lee Roy Parnell, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Collin Raye, Kathy Mattea, Gene Watson, Pam Tillis, John Berry and Patty Loveless. Age has not affected their voices. One of my recent cd purchases was “Acquired Taste” by 69 year old Delbert McClinton.

    On the other hand, I’m 63 and don’t discount the contributions of new artists. I enjoy the music of Emily West, Chris Young, Rissi Palmer, Blaine Larsen and others.

    I realize that you are big fan of Strait, but you are wrong to label all comments about him as disrespect and ageism.

  50. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Bob, I don’t think he was referring to your comment in particular. I do think that other comments here fall under Kevin’s observation though. I don’t have time to quote them right now, but if you look back at certain comments, there is a definite implication of ageism, which I didn’t want to point out but must agree with Kevin on as far as being there. In particular, suggesting )which you didn’t do) that he’s only on the ballot because of nestalgia for traditionalism does imply that he’s not there based on actual merrit. This is unfair since, as I’ve pointed out already, he is tangibly competitive with his peers. It’s fine, as you did, to say that you don’t like his music. I’m not arguing with that (I even find some of his music boring). I just take issue with people saying that he’s not deserving of a nomination, when factual evidence proves otherwise.

  51. Maureen McColeNo Gravatar

    George Strait all the way!!! The man is incredible.

  52. KNo Gravatar

    I still stand by my opinion that George does not belong anywhere near the Entertainer category.

    So he had a few top tens and a gold album? That looks incredibly weak standing next to Brad, Kenny, Keith, and cultural phenomenon Swift.

    Some people are asserting back to the fact that he’s still going strong? As impressive as that may be, this is entertainer of the year- how long Srait has been around making music is completley irrelevant.

  53. BobNo Gravatar

    Leeann, I didn’t think he was commenting on me in particular but he should have qualified his statement – “Some of the Strait comments …”. Overall, for a young guy (haha) he does a great job. I wish I had discovered this blog earlier. Besides the CU staff, quite a few of the people sending in comments are extremely knowledgeable and provide interesting insights into the country music industry.

  54. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    K,
    I don’t count Swift or Underwood, as they are anomalies in this era. As far as Urban and Paisley are concerned, Strait’s album is competitively selling with both of their releases this year. Furthermore, Strait still fills arenas and can have whoever he wants on tour with him, not to mention his several top 5 singles in the past year. I’m sounding like a broken record, but I feel like I’m responding to a broken record.

  55. So he had a few top tens and a gold album? That looks incredibly weak standing next to Brad, Kenny, Keith, and cultural phenomenon Swift.

    How so? Swift’s sales dwarf the sales of all the others, but in a sane world her complete inability to sing would disqualify her from consideration. What have Paisley, Chesney and Urban accomplished over the past year that Strait has not?

  56. KNo Gravatar

    “I don’t count Swift or Underwood, as they are anomalies in this era.”

    In my opinion, every artist is fair game in terms of who they are up against. It is fair to put Strait on par with them and no artist should get a free pass simply because other nominees are bigger success stories in a specific year.

    Again, several top five singles is not impressive when it is compared to EVERY other nominee in the category. Rascal Flatts had more succcess than him this year and he’s nominated why?

  57. TFMachadoNo Gravatar

    I’m really tired of hearing that this was Taylor’s year and that she deserves to win and everything… Taylor is doing exactly what Carrie did with Some Hearts: extreme success everywhere, drawing people to country music (more so Carrie than Taylor, though), having #1s after #1s (also, more Carrie than Taylor), and outselling every single artist out there out of every genre… so it’s beyond me why Taylor is even nominated when she barely had her own tour (most of her tours were either with Keith, Kenny or RF), and she’s done not better than Carrie did on her first album… I don’t want to sound like a bitter Carrie fan, but I do think that if Carrie, having done much better then than Taylor is doing now, wasn’t even nominated, the idea of Taylor actually winning annoys the hell out of me!!

    those were my 2 cents…

  58. Again, several top five singles is not impressive when it is compared to EVERY other nominee in the category.

    K, you’ve repeated this comment a number of times now but you’ve failed to respond every time you’ve been asked why Strait’s several top five singles during the past year are less impressive than everyone else’s.

  59. I don’t want to sound like a bitter Carrie fan, but I do think that if Carrie, having done much better then than Taylor is doing now, wasn’t even nominated, the idea of Taylor actually winning annoys the hell out of me!!

    Carrie had a pretty quiet year and didn’t release an album during the eligibility period. I expect that’s why she wasn’t nominated. Next year will probably be a different story and we’ll all be talking about she is the most unworthy nominee for 2010′s Entertainer of the Year trophy.

  60. KNo Gravatar

    Because everyone else has number one singles or top fives with every song. Everyone else has record-shattering tours. Everyone else sells boatloads of records that make history and sell much better than gold. Everyone else is an abassador for both country and pop music; Gorge is not becase he isn’t out there promoting his music and working his butt off like so many others.

  61. debraNo Gravatar

    carrie has said herself in an interview that she didnt deserved to be nominated at this cmas for EOTY

  62. Strait has released five singles during 2008 and 2009. Two have gone to #1, one went to #2, one peaked at #7 and the current one is in the Top 20 and climbing. His current album is certified gold less than three months after its release, and there’s no reason to believe that it won’t go platinum in a few more months’ time. He is definitely keeping up with the others.

    Everyone else is an abassador for both country and pop music

    Since when is being an ambassador for pop music part of the criteria for being the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year? The fact that Strait doesn’t pander to pop audiences is a big plus, IMO.

  63. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Razor, Thanks for those numbers. I was headed here to post them too. It’s not like Strait’s nomination comes out of nowhere. I’d understand the suggestions of nestalgia being the only reason for the nomination if we were talking about someone who did not have a good selling album, high concert sales and a strong radio presence in the last year. But we’re not.

    Again, let me stress that my beef isn’t that people don’t enjoy his music. While he’s on my list of favorites (especially since I’ve recently completed my Strait collection!), I understand why people may not be drawn to his music. But to argue that he isn’t competitive with his peers is just baffling to me when the numbers say the opposite. As Kevin and I’ve already said, Urban and Paisley have both released albums at around the same time period as Strait (with Urban’s being a few months before) and Strait is selling very competitively with them. Likewise, Strait tours are very strong and this thing with Reba that’s coming up in 2010 will likely be even bigger.

  64. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    On a lighter note, I urge everyone to check out this hilarious Fake News post at Country California!:

    God Requests that He Not Be Thanked for CMA Awards

  65. CarsonNo Gravatar

    I’d like to quote K. This is what I was trying to say the whole time. And despite my multi-paragraph posts, this sums it up better than anything else I’ve written:

    “I still stand by my opinion that George does not belong anywhere near the Entertainer category.

    So he had a few top tens and a gold album? That looks incredibly weak standing next to Brad, Kenny, Keith, and cultural phenomenon Swift.

    Some people are asserting back to the fact that he’s still going strong? As impressive as that may be, this is entertainer of the year- how long Srait has been around making music is completley irrelevant.”

    I like Strait. I just think when compared to Swift or Chesney or Paisley or Urban, he is NOT an Entertainer of the Year.

    I’ll be excited to see who takes home the trophies tomorrow.

  66. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    Argh…people aren’t reading. Facts are facts and the facts show that Strait is selling just as well as Urban and Paisley. His chart runs have been just about equal and his tours are selling very well, especially considering that he’s not doing as many dates as the others. I’ll give you Swift. Also, I don’t think that number of dates matter, as has also been pointed out. If he can be one of the higher country music concert draws without touring as much, then all the more power to him.

  67. debraNo Gravatar

    underwood is gonna dance in her cowboy casanova performance

  68. KNo Gravatar

    Strait is extremely talented, and he deserves to be commended for his incredible accomplishments. He seems like a humble, earnest person which is incredibly rare in the entertainment industry in this day and age.

    However, I don’t think his status as a legend or ability to churn out gold albums and top five hits is good enough. Compared to other artists his accomplishments are medicore at best.

    He deserves to be compared with every artist, including Swift and Underwood. Is it really fair that Swift had to have the top selling album of the century, Chesney had to be the top selling tucket seller in all generes of music for the entire century? Not in my observation when all Strait has to do is sell a GOLD album and score a few top five hits to get a nomination.

  69. JoJoNo Gravatar

    I think nominees for song of the year should have been:

    Sissy’s Song
    I Told You So
    Just A Dream
    In Color
    Living For The Night

  70. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    No, I think they would have been nominated even if their sales had been lower. The Entertainer award is not even only about sales though, which is all we’ve been focused on.

  71. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    K, What century are you talking about? This one has hardly begun, so it’s hyperbolic to phrase it that way.

  72. KNo Gravatar

    It has been reported that Chesney has sold the most tickets out of any artist this century,

    I’m not going to continue aruging with you; I made my point a long time ago. You can go on believing that a gold album and a few top tens constitue an entertainer of the year, but I don’t.

    It’s obvious Swift will win this award anyway; she is the biggest phenomenon music has seen in years, and I’m saying this as a non- fan. SHE deserves to win; all her accomplishments show what an all-around entertainer is.

    As long as she doesn’t win female vocalist over artists like Carrie and Martina, I’m happy.

    Razor,

    Regarding the country-pop comment: Strait doesn’t appeal to nearly as many audiences as some of the others, and I think it shows that he’s pretty one-demensional.

  73. K, how do you simultaneously argue that Strait’s past accomplishments are irrelevant — that it’s only the current year that matters — and then go on and talk about Taylor and Chesney having the best album and concert sales of this century? You can’t have it both ways. Either it is limited to the past year for everyone or everyone’s entire career is taken into account; you can’t have different requirements for different artists. You actually are correct in that it is only the past year that matters, but as we’ve proven, Strait has been competitive with all the others.

    I wholeheartedly disagree that Taylor “deserves” to win. She has had tremendous commercial success, but artistically — particularly as a vocalist, she leaves a lot to be desired.

    Regarding the country-pop comment: Strait doesn’t appeal to nearly as many audiences as some of the others, and I think it shows that he’s pretty one-demensional.

    It is only the country music audience that matters for this award. Taylor’s audience is pretty much limited to teenage and pre-teenage girls. You can’t get much more one dimensional than that, yet you arguing that she should win the award.

  74. Cory DeSteinNo Gravatar

    the main reason I watch the CMA’s is to participate in the live blogs, but this year the CMA’s are on the same night as “Law & Order:SVU” so im not sure what to do, even if SVU’s quality has gone down the drain lately…..then again so have the CMA’s

  75. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I guess part of why I think Taylor Swift should win is for historical purposes. Generally speaking, I think you can glean a lot about a particular era of country music by looking at who won Entertainer in those years. Taylor Swift winning would make a definitive (and accurate) statement about this era of country music. If we always just vote for our favorite act regardless of other considerations, we misrepresent what really happened in this era.

    I’m not saying there’s no room for taste in the decision, of course. It could be argued that Rascal Flatts deserved to win one or two years there based on numbers and presence, but CMA tastes kept it going to Kenny Chesney, which was fine, because his success was comparable anyway. In the case of Taylor, there isn’t anyone of comparable current impact besides Carrie Underwood, who isn’t nominated.

  76. In the case of Taylor, there isn’t anyone of comparable current impact besides Carrie Underwood, who isn’t nominated.

    By that criteria, Dan, the award should always go to the person with the highest sales figures. That doesn’t leave any discretion for artistic merit.

    Generally speaking, I think you can glean a lot about a particular era of country music by looking at who won Entertainer in those years. Taylor Swift winning would make a definitive (and accurate) statement about this era of country music. If we always just vote for our favorite act regardless of other considerations, we misrepresent what really happened in this era.

    The award isn’t supposed to be about representing or misrepresenting what’s going on in country music at any given time. I do agree that a win by Taylor would certainly say a lot about this era of country music — and not in a good way. It would make the entire awards program a complete laughing stock. It is an embarrassment that they even nominated her. The very notion that she should be part of that same small circle of female performers as Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell and Reba McEntire is almost beyond comprehension.

    And for the record, I’m not necessarily “voting” for my favorite. George Strait is my favorite hands down among this group of nominees, but I really think the award should go to Brad Paisley this year.

  77. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar

    Quoting Razor:

    “By that criteria, Dan, the award should always go to the person with the highest sales figures. That doesn’t leave any discretion for artistic merit.”

    Exactly. The sales-impact criteria would not leave any room for the drama of an awards show either. (If there is any remaining nowadays.)

  78. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “By that criteria, Dan, the award should always go to the person with the highest sales figures. That doesn’t leave any discretion for artistic merit.”

    I never said sales should be the end-all. Sales, like artistic strength, are just one aspect of overall impact. But in determining overall impact, it’s irrational to ignore that a particular act is outselling most of her peers by a 4:1 margin (in most cases better) in the midst of an economic crisis. It’s also irrational to ignore that that particular act has a much greater presence in the world outside country music.

    I agree that Swift isn’t in the same overall league as the women you mentioned (although I think much of her recorded music could easily compete with Mandrell’s), but that’s where we are now. I don’t think she’s very country, but I do think she’s released more interesting music in the last year than some of the other nominees. But I know some people don’t think there’s any real value whatsoever to her music, and that’s a matter where I’d just have to agree to disagree.

    Anyway, I don’t think country music will topple over and die if she does win. If anything, I think it may lead to stronger efforts by traditionalists to regain footing, which I would certainly support.

  79. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar

    Quoting Dan

    “Anyway, I don’t think country music will topple over and die if she does win. If anything, I think it may lead to stronger efforts by traditionalists to regain footing, which I would certainly support.”

    Traditionalists HAVE been making strong efforts, and great music…any lost ground certainly isn’t because of an effort deficit on their part. The traditionalist ladies are being shut out by the overwhelming demand for the wares of the young pop princesses, and the Nashville establishment that exists to satisfy that demand.

    Now whether the pendulum of popular desire will swing back towards the traditionalists after having it’s fill of country-lite (with a Swift victory, etc..).will be interesting to watch. I guess it’s concievable there might be a backlash in popular opinion, but it will only happen when the grownups get sick of having children in charge of the marketplace.

  80. vpNo Gravatar

    I’m so tired of everyone talking about the Taylor impact, and how many fans she brought to country, let’s not forget the majority of her fans are pop children I didn’t say all. Also Carrie brought more fans to liking country the TS did, and she paved the way for TS. Remember TS released her first album just before Carrie’s and it got taken right off the shelves as no one was buying then once Carrie went I think 4x platinum did they rerelease, knowing there was a younger crowd to reach.

    I just don’t see how she has done so much for country, and am tired of hearing and seeing her everywhere, now she is performing twice tonight….why? Let George or Reba great ones perform twice heck perform together anything except more TS.

    Just had to get that off my chest, after the more I see of her I realized the lack of musical talent she has, not writing but musical…and she is a horrible live performer it hurt to watch her sing on snl.

  81. BobNo Gravatar

    I don’t watch the show to see who will win the awards. I can check the results online or read about it in the papers (while we still have papers). I watch to see the performances. I actually enjoyed about 4 or 5 of them last year. Some of the artists I’ve never heard sing live. Before I spend any money on concert tickets, I want to be sure that the artist can sing without pro-tools. I don’t want to spend an evening wincing at all the missed notes. I admit that I entertained the thought of going to a RF concert after their first cd. Then I heard them live on some show.

  82. KNo Gravatar

    “I admit that I entertained the thought of going to a RF concert after their first cd. Then I heard them live on some show.”

    They’re not bad live like most people think. If you actually bother to watch other shows other than awards shows where almost everyone sounds bad than you’d discover that.

    Unless you’ve heard them acapella (I have), you don’t really have much to go on.

  83. SwedishMattiasNo Gravatar

    I really cant see that Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood or Keith Urban (example) has brought fans to country music or made much for the genre. Why? Cause this people dont play country music, so they cant have. On CMA all i ever heard was rock and pop. Were is country with fiddle and steel-guitar? Were is the roots? Jamey Johnson was real country, George Strait is always great, Billy Curringtons People are crazy, that was a good country song. Over all it was crap to me. But the question remains: Is there hope for country when country was real country, with steelguitar fiddle and banjo. When you can feel the roots from the good ol’ days when Johnny Cash were young and alive. Is there hope for that kind of music on CMA awards, or is the only thing you hear is pop acts who has stolen the identity of country music?
    I just say: Thank god for Dale Watson!

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