Musician of the Year – Mac McAnally
Musical Event of the Year – “Start A Band”, Brad Paisley & Keith Urban
Music Video of the Year – “Love Story”, Taylor Swift
Single of the Year – “I Run To You”, Lady Antebellum
Song of the Year – “In Color”, Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller, James Otto
Vocal Group of the Year – Lady Antebellum
New Artist of the Year – Darius Rucker
Album of the Year – Fearless, Taylor Swift
Vocal Duo of the Year – Sugarland
Male Vocalist of the Year – Brad Paisley
Female Vocalist of the Year – Taylor Swift
Entertainer of the Year – Taylor Swift
– – –
11:05 DM: Final tally of CMA staff predictions: Leeann – 9, Dan – 7, Tara – 6, Kevin – 5 (not counting Video). Leeann triumphs again! Thanks for joining us, everyone!
11:04 KC: Artists who have won 4 CMA awards in one night: Johnny Cash. Merle Haggard. Vince Gill. Alison Krauss. Dixie Chicks. Taylor Swift.
11:00 DM: Well, this certainly feels like some kind of watershed moment for country music. I guess we’ll see what happens, huh?
10:59 KC: Though to get us back to reality: Female winners of the Entertainer of the Year award – Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks, Taylor Swift.
10:57 KC: And she brought out the band. And she thanked the fans. And she’s crying. Darn you, Taylor Swift. Making me be happy for you!
10:56 KC: And her parents just made me get misty.
10:55 KC: Okay, she deserved this one.
10:55 DM: A clean sweep.
Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift
10:54 DM: After that, no Entertainer result could surprise me.
10:52 KC: Before the show, I told Dan that I hoped there would be some surprises tonight. God says “Ha!”
10:48 DM: Dave Matthews is pretty cool. It’s a shame he couldn’t be here for a more interesting song. Anybody remember his Crossroads with Emmylou Harris? That was cool.
10:46 KC: Pardon my absence. I had to put a “Kanye Was Right” sticker on my car.
10:42 DM: Well, the backlash should start pretty soon here. I don’t even wanna know what’s being said in the Carrie Underwood fan forums right now.
10:40 DM: Speechless.
10:40 KC: Oh dear.
Female Vocalist of the Year: Taylor Swift
10:37 KC: People are crazy. Crazy enough to give Lady Antebellum single of the year, but not quite crazy enough to give it to Billy Currington.
10:35 DM: Billy Currington. I feel a power-nap coming on!
10:34 KC: Also praying that Reba can drag George Strait up to the NYC metro area when they tour together.
10:33 KC: This decent Reba single reminded me of an interesting piece of trivia: All five female vocalist nominees are in the top 20 of the singles chart this week. See what’s possible when you don’t nominate Alison Krauss?
10:31 DM: Have you guys noticed how Reba is just going by the one name now? Not a fan. She still sounds good, but it’s time for some better singles.
10:26 KC: Now they brought the Hall of Fame CMA moment back? After the Emmylou Harris induction has already come and gone?
10:24 KC: Okay George Strait just saved it. Perhaps because he actually has been country all along?
10:24 KC: Let’s all pray that Martina isn’t previewing Timeless II.
10:24 KC: Even if Roy Clark was dead, it wouldn’t be excusable for Barbara Mandrell to get such a lopsided amount of attention.
10:21 DM: Well, I’m glad they’re doing something for the inductees. Even if it involves “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.”
10:21 KC: I have this fear that Taylor Swift is going to win Female Vocalist.
10:19 KC: That sounds like a dangerous thing to do on a tractor.
10:18 DM: Is Jason Aldean really at superstar status now? Bummer.
10:15 DM: Upsets at every turn.
Male Vocalist of the Year: Brad Paisley
10:11 KC: To answer LeAnn’s question, “By listening to their music.”
10:10 KC: I didn’t know who I was supposed to be at 19, either.
10:09 From the Comments, Diamond: Kanye. NOW. Please…
10:08 KC: I wonder how LeAnn Rimes feels about all of this.
10:07 DM: Gotta say, there are probably at least five girls in a ten-foot radius of Swift who could be up there singing this better.
10:04 DM: Wow, burn.
10:03 KC: Rascal Flatts commercial for Wendy’s. A celebrity endorsement that is completely believable.
10:02 KC: Why didn’t B&D get up and talk? Way to sink a classy moment.
10:01 KC: Sugarland: A standing O I can get behind.
10:00 DM: Don’t think we didn’t notice your complete lack of applause for Joey + Rory, CMA! For shame.
Vocal Duo of the Year: Sugarland
9:59 KC: B&D’s retirement announcement was timed so it could impact CMA voting. Let’s see if it did the trick.
9:58 KC: In terms of personal grooming, he’s somewhere between Jennings and Cousin It.
9:57 KC: Still don’t think Johnson’s schtick is particularly authentic.
9:56 DM: John Rich got a mention. Not going to do much to help that smugness thing.
9:54 DM: Jamey Johnson doing “Between Jennings and Jones” at the CMAs. If he doesn’t kick ass, he’s going to come off really smug.
9:54 KC: Dan, the time for steel-tipped intervention was when they were considering recording it in the first place.
9:52 DM: I remember Ronnie doing a good job on “It’s Getting Better All The Time” some number of years back.
9:52 KC: This final B&D CMA performance has me feeling sentimental for all of those amazing CMA performances from them over the past eighteen years, of which I can’t name one.
9:51 DM: Brooks & Dunn’s final CMA performance is “Honky Tonk Stomp.” I’d like to kick the balls of whoever made that call.
9:48 KC: KC: Shout-out to Cutting the Treacle, living up to the name and the comment thread’s MVP so far.
9:46 KC: Women who’ve won Album of the Year: Sissy Spacek, Anne Murray, Patty Loveless, Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack, Taylor Swift. Rank them as you wish.
9:44 KC: Shocked that Jamey Johnson didn’t win.
9:45 DM: And the tweens have it.
Album of the Year: Fearless, Taylor Swift
9:42 DM: I think my dad may have had that ugly black Aloha-cowboy vest.
9:42 KC: My dad also went out with his Boots On.
9:41 KC: My dad had that POW MIA hat!
9:39 DM: Seriously, Nettles has better stage presence than just about anybody else we’ve seen tonight. Maybe Zac Brown Band could compete. Still not digging her head voice, though.
9:38 KC: KC: Love this song. Love this duo.
9:36 DM: Carrie has a lot more charisma this year. And speaking of charisma, here comes Jennifer Nettles!
9:30 DM: …So how about Tim’s jester pants?
9:27 DM: Tim forgot his first few words because he was looking around waiting for that “famous Southern people” montage Kevin promised to start up. Now that it has, he’s good.
9:25 DM: I really want to like this song – it’s certainly something new for Keith – but I just can’t get into it somehow. Doesn’t feel accessible.
9:23 DM: Keith Urban debuting his new single about how depressing empty carnivals are.
9:21 DM: I don’t know whether to smile that Little Jimmy got a spot at all or weep that it was just so he could deliver a limp Kanye joke.
9:15 KC: For me, the Tennessee line just meant that I had another three hours of driving until Nashville or another twelve until New York.
9:12 KC: Much like cheddar cheese and Grey Goose, Vince Gill makes everything a little bit better.
9:11 DM: Good thing Daughtry is here. I was worried they might mention the Country Music Hall of Fame inductees or something.
9:10 KC: Darius Rucker joins Shelby Lynne in possession of both a country new artist award and the Best New Artist Grammy.
New Artist of the Year: Darius Rucker
9:08 KC: Wynonna – you look great, but you won the HORIZON AWARD, not the New Artist award
9:07 KC: Songs that stink live and on record: “Alright”, whatever Taylor sang.
9:07 KC: Songs that haven’t: “White Liar”, “Welcome to the Future”
9:07 KC: Songs that have sounded better live tonight: “Need You Now”, “Cowboy Casanova”, “Twang”
9:06 KC: Also, very cool set piece
9:05 KC: Why is it that the whole “they sound bad because of the sound system” argument falls apart every time that Carrie Underwood opens her mouth and puts the rest of them to shame?
9:05 DM: I meant that positively. She looks hot.
9:03 DM: Oh man. This performance is going to inspire drag shows for years to come.
9:02 DM: Carrie launching into “Cowboy Casanova.”
9:00 KC: Dan, it’s taking all my strength to get through this show without medication, and I’m watching at home.
8:58 DM: Now the healing can begin.
8:57 KC: Rascal Flatts didn’t win, which is more satisfying than any winner could be.
Vocal Group of the Year: Lady Antebellum
8:56 DM: OH! VOCAL GROUP MOMENT OF TRUTH!
8:55 DM: Is it me, or do the TV star presenters always seem the most medicated?
8:54 KC: That’s Jamey Johnson and Kid Rock up on the rafters, shaking out their hair.
8:53 KC: I bet Miranda Lambert feels just like that string of Christmas lights.
8:50 KC: If Jason Aldean recorded this, it would sound like a Metallica record.
8:50 KC: Amazing how this man has managed to wade through at least three “Country Goes Crazy for Crossover” phases without even sullying his crisp white shirt.
8:48 KC: The CMA needs a little “Twang” too. Thanks George!
8:47 DM: Incidentally, the awards for Video and Musical Event were given out pre-show. The winners are “Love Story” and “Start A Band”, respectively.
8:45 KC: I cursed on the CMAs. That means I’m hard-core!
8:44 DM: But point taken – it was a breath of fresh air.
8:44 KC: Scratch that – AK&US and Nickel Creek have been on the show since then.
8:43 KC: Though to be fair, it’s the first time since the Dixie Chicks ruled the CMAs that a band has actually played well live on the stage.
8:42 KC: The devil went down to K-Mart, he was looking for some clothes to wear. He found a polo shirt and stone-washed jeans for his big awards show affair.
8:40 DM: Alright, this is the most interesting CMA performance I’ve seen in some time. They’re so un-glamorous compared to the rest of the crowd that it’s a little mesmerizing.
8:40 KC: Loving the tambourine guy.
8:39 KC: Halloween was eleven days ago and a lot less scary.
8:39 DM: Zac Brown Band doing “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” I’m sure they can play it, but seriously, WTF?
8:38 KC: The history geek in me wants to tell Brad that he just woke up the founder of the Lutherans, not the leader of the civil rights movement
8:36 KC: Apparently in the future, you don’t have to sing into the microphone.
8:35 DM: Seconded.
8:35 KC: Seriously, if Mario or Link show up, I’m switching my Entertainer vote to Brad
8:34 KC: Pac-Man!
8:33 KC: PONG!!!!
8:31 DM: I know what you mean, Kevin. I get to a point where I just have to stop reading reviews in order to enjoy music.
8:29 KC: This song’s grown on me a bit. Miranda’s talent and her hype keep switching leads in their ongoing race. Right now, it’s hype by a nose.
8:28 KC: Craig Wiseman won Song in 2004 and 2006. Bill Anderson in 2005 and 2007. Jamey Johnson in 2007 and 2009. Next year, Jennifer Nettles better prepare a speech!
8:27 DM: Wow, this mix is terrible. She’s singing well, but she and the drums are about all you can hear.
8:24 DM: Miranda Lambert doing “White Liar.” Interested to hear how it sounds live.
8:24 KC: Jamey’s comment about not thinking he’d ever be allowed to come to stuff like this would seem a bit more believable if he hadn’t already won in this category before.
8:22 Song of the Year: “In Color”
8:21 KC: Darius, we already knew white people don’t have any rhythm. You didn’t have to rub it in.
8:20 DM: This song does not deserve a giant light-up sign of its title.
8:20 KC: Way to set the bar at just “Alright” and still not even approach it.
8:18 KC: Nobody’s EVER made the leap from rock to country as gracefully as Darius Rucker? Somewhere, the family of Conway Twitty is screaming.
8:17 KC: I think Brad & Carrie just locked in hosting duties for the next five years.
8:16 DM: Why can’t Carrie Underwood record countrier music? She’s cleaning up on these song parodies.
8:16 KC: Check out our Country Universe spin-off site launching tomorrow: ladyantebellumsingleoftheyearseriously????.com
8:13 KC: Full disclosure. I purchased the cassingle of Victoria Shaw’s “Cry Wolf” back in ’94.
Single of the Year: Lady Antebellum, “I Run To You”
8:12 DM & KC: WHAT????
8:11 KC: Look! Skeeter Davis grew a beard!
8:11 KC: Kid Rock. Performing AND presenting. Of course.
8:09 DM: Gotta say I’m actually liking some of the opening monologue this time. The gags on Tim & Faith’s colognes and the Brooks & Dunn/Sugarland competition are pretty solid.
8:07 KC: Hope that’s the first and last Kanye joke.
8:06 DM: For a second I thought they were actually just going to stand there and sing old country songs. Bummer.
8:05 DM: Ditto, Kev.
8:04 KC: All of my objective, “She’s the top performer right now and should be acknowledged” comments are difficult to stand by when I hear her sing
8:03 DM: Dramatic moments in song = key time to start singing in fake British accent.
8:01 KC: It’s 8:01. Do you know where your Pro Tools are?
8:00 DM: Taylor performance. She’s doing that Joe Jonas harangue song.
7:59 DM: Show time’s almost here! Kevin and I will be doing double-duty throughout the night and highlighting some of your comments. Get pumped!
Given that CMA Live Blogging has become so widespread that even the super-cool Whitney Pastorek at Entertainment Weekly is doing it, our “update the post repeatedly while you add your comments” approach seems almost quaint.