CMA Awards

CMA 2012: Live Blog

November 1, 2012 // 85 Comments


Entertainer: Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton

Vocal Group: Little Big Town

New Artist: Hunter Hayes

Vocal Duo: Thompson Square

Musician: Mac McAnally

Album: Eric Church, Chief

Single: Little Big Town, “Pontoon”

Song: Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton, “Over You”

Musical Event: Tim McGraw & Kenny Chesney, “Feel Like a Rock Star”

Video: Toby Keith, “Red Solo Cup”

2012 CMA Awards: Staff Picks & Predictions

October 28, 2012 // 38 Comments

While the rest of the country fixates on “Nashville,” the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards air live from Music City with equal drama and ridiculousness November 1 at 7 p.m. CST. The CU staff picked and predicted the awards below. Chime in with your thoughts, and check back for our live blog on Thursday night!

Entertainer of the Year 

Should Win:

  • Jason Aldean – Dan, Ben, Kevin
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • Blake Shelton
  • Taylor Swift – Jonathan, Tara, Leeann

Will Win:

  • Jason Aldean – Dan, Ben, Jonathan, Kevin
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • Blake Shelton
  • Taylor Swift – Tara, Leeann

2012 CMA Nominations

September 5, 2012 // 60 Comments

The list of nominees for the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards has been released. Eric Church had a big breakthrough this past year, and such is reflected in the nominee list – Church leads the pack with five nominations. Current favorite power couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert follow with four each, including a shared Song of the Year nod for their co-write “Over You.”

CMA Live Blog 2011

November 9, 2011 // 59 Comments


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


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


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:


  • 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

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