CMA Awards

CMA Live Blog 2011

November 9, 2011 // 59 Comments

THE WINNERS

Entertainer: Taylor Swift

Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton

New Artist: The Band Perry

Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

Vocal Duo: Sugarland

Song: “If I Die Young” – Kimberly Perry

Single: The Band Perry, “If I Die Young”

Music Video: Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter, “You and Tequila”

Musical Event: Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay”

Musician: Mac McAnally

2011 CMA Awards: Staff Picks and Predictions

November 7, 2011 // 28 Comments

It’s that time of year again! The time when we all dutifully tune in to the CMA Awards show, raise our eyebrows at the “What the heck are they doing here?” award presenters, and afterwards complain about how totally un-country the whole show was. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t wait.

We’re pleased to share the Country Universe staff picks for this year’s CMA Awards, as well as our predictions of who the winners will be. This year we have some highly competitive categories in which predicting the winners is quite difficult, leading to some significantly divergent picks among our writing staff. Agree? Disagree? Join in the discussion in the comment thread below, and let us know.

2011 CMA Nominations

September 6, 2011 // 55 Comments

It’s always interesting to see how music industry awards reflect (or don’t reflect) larger narratives in the industry itself.

If you’re interested in the narratives behind this year’s CMAs, look no further than the two men who’ve made the biggest strides on the ballot: Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean. Both show up in Entertainer and Male Vocalist, plus Album and Single, plus assorted other stuff. But the marketing approaches that have gotten them there are vastly different.

CMA Live Blog 2010

November 10, 2010 // 261 Comments

WINNERS:

Entertainer: Brad Paisley

Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton

Vocal Duo: Sugarland

Album: Miranda Lambert, Revolution

Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

New Artist: Zac Brown Band

Song: “The House That Built Me” – Tom Douglas & Allen Shamblin

Single: Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now”

Music Video: Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me”

Musical Event: Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins, “Hillbilly Bone”

Musician: Mac McAnally

Correct Prediction Tally:

9: Dan,Tara

8: Leeann

7: Kevin

LIVE BLOG:

10:59 Brad deserved it last year, got it this year. Carrie deserved it this year, will hopefully get it next year. When the history list is written though, nobody’s gonna care which year they won in, just that they were acknowledged. So a good end to an okay night. – KC

10:58 Very, very pleased! And what a sweet, sincere moment. – TS

10:57 You know, I’m kind of relieved. Granted, Brad gave possibly the worst performance of the night and is generally not someone I like much, but I just didn’t feel like having to listen to a bunch of whining tomorrow about Miranda or Lady A or someone winning. – DM

2010 CMA Awards: Staff Picks and Predictions

November 8, 2010 // 30 Comments

When the nominees were announced in August for the 44th annual CMA Awards, they sparked a firestorm of headlines —and thoughtful commentary by critics and fans alike— thanks to the CMA voters’ surprisingly bold moves. It’s all about change this year, as the voters revamped the ballot with a slew of fresh faces in almost all of the big categories.

How will it all play out? We’ll know for sure on Wednesday at 8pm Eastern, but before Gwenyth Paltrow throws on her cowboy boots, check out our staff picks and predictions and join the discussion in the comments below. And be sure to drop by Wednesday night for all of the CU live blog madness!

CMA 2010: Female Trouble

September 3, 2010 // 85 Comments

It’s pretty rare that the CMA nominations garner much attention outside of the country music press, but the always excellent Whitney Pastorek at Entertainment Weekly has a lengthy article trying to rationalize the exclusion of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift from the Entertainer category.

It’s amazing that in a year where a record was set for the most nominations by a female artist, there can still be a valid accusation of gender bias among the nominations. Women have been poorly represented in the Entertainer category for pretty much the entire history of the CMA Awards. Even when you include duos or groups with female members, there have never been more than two out of five nominees that are women.

2010 CMA Nominations

September 1, 2010 // 125 Comments

Last month, I suggested an infusion of new blood at the CMA Awards. They’ve exceeded even my wildest expectations, rejecting the usual nominees in nearly every race. Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, and Dierks Bentley have quite a bit to celebrate, but this year’s awards belong to Miranda Lambert, who earned a stunning nine nominations, a record for a female artist.

Let’s take a look at this year’s nominees:

Entertainer

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Brad Paisley
  • Keith Urban
  • Zac Brown Band

Who’s In: Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band

Who’s Out: Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Taylor Swift

Picking the CMA Nominees: Female Vocalist of the Year

August 19, 2010 // 77 Comments

In the Entertainer and Male Vocalist races, I’ve been making the case for fresh blood. In those categories, the routine nominees are mostly past their peaks, and there’s room to let some rising stars in on the action.

Oh, to be able to make the same case for the Female Vocalist race. Let’s take a look at last year’s nominees:

2009

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

For the first time in this category’s history, I believe voters are facing a dilemma that plagued the Vocal Duo category for most of the nineties: there just aren’t enough worthy nominees to finish out the category.

Picking the CMA Nominees: Male Vocalist of the Year

August 15, 2010 // 25 Comments

If turnover has been slow in the Entertainer category, it’s been nothing less than glacial in the Male Vocalist race. Over the past ten years, only eleven men have received nominations. Four of those eleven – Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, and Josh Turner – have been nominated only once.

Now, Toby Keith and Tim McGraw were regularly invited to the party in the first half of the last decade, with four and three nominations, respectively. But the race has essentially been dominated by the same five men: Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, George Strait, and Keith Urban, who combine for forty nominations in just one decade.

The recent history has been pretty boring. After two consecutive wins by Alan Jackson, we’ve had three consecutive wins each by Keith Urban and reigning champ Brad Paisley.

Will there be a new winner this year, or even a new nominee? Should there be?

Picking the CMA Nominees: Entertainer of the Year

July 30, 2010 // 49 Comments

As we did last year, it’s time to share our preferences for this year’s CMA Awards. Last year, Taylor Swift was the belle of the ball, winning four awards. Some long winning streaks came to an end, as Swift replaced both Kenny Chesney as Entertainer of the Year and Carrie Underwood as Female Vocalist of the Year. Lady Antebellum ended Rascal Flatts’ long run as top Vocal Group, and were the surprise winners of Single of the Year as well.

Once again. I’ve selected the five artists that I believe are most deserving of an Entertainer of the Year nomination. But first, let’s take a look at last year’s race:

Entertainer of the Year (2009)

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

Swift was victorious in her first nomination in this category. She competed against three previous winners: Kenny Chesney, who has gone 4 for 8 in this category; Keith Urban, who is 1 for 5; and the incomparable George Strait, who is 2 for 17. Brad Paisley lost for the fifth year, tying Kenny Rogers for the most nominations without a win.

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