Tag Archives: ACM Awards

2014 ACM Nominations

Blake Shelton Luke Bryan ACMHaving had just enough time to catch our breath after the Grammys, we now find ourselves gearing up for ACM season. This year’s Academy of Country Music Award nominees have just been announced today. Not surprisingly, this year’s nominees are wildly uneven, with “bro country” scoring ample representation. Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw lead with seven nominations each.

Chime in with your thoughts below. Country Universe’s Staff Picks and Predictions will be unveiled the week of the show. Tune into the live broadcast on Sunday, April 6 at 8:00 p.m. EST to see who will emerge victorious this year.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Luke Bryan
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Blake Shelton
  • George Strait
  • Taylor Swift

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Lee Brice
  • Luke Bryan
  • Blake Shelton
  • Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Sheryl Crow
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Big & Rich
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Love and Theft
  • Thompson Square

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Eli Young Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • The Band Perry
  • Zac Brown Band

New Artist of the Year

  • Lee Brice
  • Brett Eldredge
  • Tyler Farr
  • Justin Moore
  • Kip Moore
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Parmalee

Album of the Year

  • Blake Shelton, Based on a True Story…
  • Luke Bryan, Crash My Party
  • Florida Georgia Line, Here’s to the Good Times
  • Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park
  • Tim McGraw, Two Lanes of Freedom

Single Record of the Year

  • Florida Georgia Line, “Cruise”
  • Tim McGraw featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
  • Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”
  • Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
  • Darius Rucker featuring Lady Antebellum, “Wagon Wheel”

Song of the Year

  • “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” – Gary Allan, Hillary Lindsey, Matthew Warren
  • “I Drive Your Truck” – Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, Jimmy Yeary
  • “Mama’s Broken Heart” – Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves
  • “Mine Would Be You” – Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, Deric Ruttan
  • “Wagon Wheel” – Bob Dylan, Ketch Secor

Video of the Year

  • The Band Perry, “Better Dig Two”
  • Kacey Musgraves, “Blowin’ Smoke”
  • Tim McGraw featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
  • Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”
  • Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
  • Carrie Underwood, “Two Black Cadillacs”

Vocal Event of the Year

  • Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies and Friends, “Boys ‘Round Here”
  • Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly, “Cruise” (Remix)
  • Tim McGraw featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
  • Darius Rucker featuring Lady Antebellum, “Wagon Wheel”
  • Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert, “We Were Us”

Songwriter of the Year

  • Rhett Akins
  • Rodney Clawson
  • Ashley Gorley
  • Luke Laird
  • Shane McAnally

Producer of the Year

  • Mark Bright
  • Dann Huff
  • Michael Knox
  • Frank Liddell
  • Paul Worley

Bass Player of the Year

  • Mike Brignardello
  • Kevin “Swine” Grantt
  • Mark Hill
  • Michael Rhodes
  • Glenn Worf

Drummer of the Year

  • Chad Cromwell
  • Fred Eltringham
  • Shannon Forrest
  • Greg Morrow
  • Lonnie Wilson

Guitar Player of the Year

  • Jeff King
  • Troy Lancaster
  • Brent Mason
  • Rob McNelley
  • Jerry McPherson

Piano/Keyboards Player of the Year

  • Tony Harrell
  • John Jarvis
  • Charlie Judge
  • Tim Lauer
  • Gordon Mote

Specialty Instrument Player of the Year

  • Glen Duncan
  • Larry Franklin
  • Jim Hoke
  • Danny Radar
  • Bryan Sutton

Steel Guitar Player of the Year

  • Dan Dugmore
  • Paul Franklin
  • Steve Hinson
  • Russ Pahl
  • Scotty Sanders


Filed under ACM Awards

ACM 2013 Live Blog

acm awardsIf you’re tuned into tonight’s show at Blake and Luke just ain’t gettin’ buy tadalafil online it done for ya, come commiserate on the state of this genre with us. It’ll be fun, maybe!

As always, please let us know in the comments if you have any trouble with the live blog client.


Entertainer: Luke Bryan

Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist: Jason Aldean

New Artist: Florida Georgia Line

Album: Eric Church, Chief

Song: Miranda Lambert, “Over You”

Single: Miranda Lambert, “Over You”

Musical Event: Jason Aldean, Luke Byran & Eric Church, “The Only Way I Know”

Music Video: Little Big Town, “Tornado”


Filed under Live Blog

2013 ACM Awards: Staff Picks and Predictions


The stars are converging on Las Vegas this weekend as the industry gears up for this year’s ACM Awards.  We at Country Universe have been busily poring over this year’s list of nominees, picking and predicting the winners while getting ready for all the live-blogging madness Sunday night.

This year Luke Bryan replaces Reba McEntire as Blake Shelton’s co-host, and we have a roster of live performers that includes everyone from Eric Church and Hunter Hayes to Kelly Clarkson and Jewel.  On top of that, Shania Twain will return to present at the ACM Awards for the first time in a decade, and we look forward to a historic collaboration between George Strait and Garth Brooks as the two modern genre legends pay tribute to the late ACM executive producer Dick Clark.

Who would you most like to see emerge victorious at this year’s ACM Awards?  Share your picks and predictions in the comments section below.  Tune in to the live telecast tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/ 7:00 Central on CBS, and be sure to drop by Country Universe for our live blog.  Meanwhile, our friends at Engine 145 will be hosting a live blog of their own, so feel free to pay them a visit as well.

Entertainer of the Yeartaylor-swift-2012-acm-awards-press-room-01

Should Win:

  • Jason Aldean – Kevin
  • Luke Bryan
  • Miranda Lambert – Tara
  • Blake Shelton – Dan
  • Taylor Swift – Jonathan, Ben, Leeann

Will Win:

  • Jason Aldean – Tara, Kevin
  • Luke Bryan
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Blake Shelton – Leeann
  • Taylor Swift – Jonathan, Ben, Dan

Leeann:  As far as I know, Taylor Swift had the highest tickets sales in 2012, so she remains a force to be reckoned with.  I, however, wouldn’t be surprised to if Blake Shelton won based on his high profile due to The Voice.  Then again, I also wouldn’t be too surprised to see Jason Aldean win based on the fact that he sold out Madison Square Garden in under 10 minutes.  I can’t imagine.

Kevin:  I’m going out on a bit of limb here by picking Aldean as the likely winner, but seeing him sell out Madison Square Garden in ten minutes indicates to me that his fan base is quite motivated.  I really think that Swift is going to suffer among the industry voters for going blatantly pop, and I suspect it will be enough to push them into Aldean’s camp.  Carrie Underwood, of course, is the real Entertainer of the Year. She’s just not nominated.

Jonathan:  It’s impossible, really, to envision Swift, the biggest star in this line-up by several orders of magnitude, losing an award that’s partially fan-voted.  And, even though I don’t think her Red era scans as country as any meaningful way, she’d get my vote, too, as the most compelling entertainer of the lot.  Though it’s worth mentioning that, had she been nominated, Carrie Underwood would’ve been my pick.

Tara:  Let’s try a little positivity – here’s what I still love: “Fly Over States,” the Pistol Annies, and Swift’s drive.  But frankly, I’m not comfortable with any of these artists – based on their current output and presence – representing our industry as EOTY, and that’s quite frustrating.

Ben:  Carrie Underwood would have been my choice without reservation had she been nominated.  But with her out of running, I’d have to shrug it over to either Aldean or Swift, and while neither of them are making music that feels country to me, Swift’s material has generally been more interesting.  Sadly, I still have to second Tara’s closing sentence, as I can’t wholeheartedly endorse any one of these five artists as the face of country music in 2013.

Dan:  So let’s see:  Swift is in full Top 40 mode, Lambert released her three weakest singles back-to-back (pre-“Mama’s Broken Heart”), Aldean and Bryan have totally burrowed into their respective formulae, and Blake Shelton’s best contribution is TV goofery.  I guess I’d be least put off by the goofery being rewarded, but yeah.

Male Vocalist of the YearEric Church

Should Win:

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church – Jonathan, Tara, Ben, Dan, Kevin
  • Toby Keith – Leeann
  • Blake Shelton

Will Win:

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church
  • Toby Keith
  • Blake Shelton – Jonathan, Tara, Ben, Leeann, Dan, Kevin

Jonathan:  Take a Mulligan on this one, ACMs:  Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Chris Young.  There, now was that really so hard?

Leeann:  Toby Keith has the best voice of these men, but I have no doubt that Blake Shelton will win it, since this is his time.

Kevin:  I don’t see a way around a Shelton win, though I think Church would have a shot if he wasn’t also nominated for Album, giving voters an easy way to honor both Church and Shelton on the same ballot.

Ben:  Everyone here has a shot except Toby Keith.  From a critic’s perspective, Eric Church is a shoo-in per usual, but I expect the ACM will continue handing unearned trophies to the musically underachieving Blake Shelton.

Dan:  Church please, but I’d be fine if this category ended up rewarding Aldean or Bryan for their success. Just want to see some mix-up.

Tara:  Same ole.

Female Vocalist of the YearCarrie-Underwood-Blown-Away-Tour

Should Win:

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood – Jonathan, Tara, Ben, Leeann, Dan, Kevin

Will Win:

  • Miranda Lambert – Tara, Ben, Leeann, Dan
  • Martina McBride
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood – Jonathan, Kevin

Kevin:  Sheer power of wishful thinking?  Perhaps.  But to ignore Carrie Underwood’s stellar year artistically and commercially would be a sin.

Ben:  If there were ever a year in which Carrie Underwood deserved the Female Vocalist trophy, this would be it.  Unfortunately, Underwood’s lack of nominations

in the Entertainer and Single categories suggest that Miranda Lambert remains the current favorite.

Jonathan:  Even if I’ve been slightly disappointed by Underwood’s choices of singles during the eligibility period, I stand by what I said in our CMA picks and predictions last fall:  Whatever substantial limitations she may still have as an artist, Underwood is currently doing what is far and away her career-best work, and I’d like to see her rewarded for that.

Dan:  Or, to ape Jonathan’s mathematical approach from a few award shows back:  “Blown Away” + “Two Black Cadillacs” > “Over You” + “Fastest Girl in Town.”

Tara:  Based on vision, creativity and voice, this is a no-brainer.  I have a hard time picturing anyone dethroning the Lamberts, though.

Leeann:  I honestly won’t be upset if Miranda Lambert wins, because she’s got my favorite voice of the group, but I think Carrie Underwood actually deserves the award.  I’ve been liking her voice more these days and she’s just about always on target for live performances.

 Vocal Duo of the Yearflorida georgia line

Should Win:

  • Big & Rich
  • Florida Georgia Line – Ben? Dan?
  • Love and Theft
  • Sugarland
  • Thompson Square – Tara?

Will Win:

  • Big & Rich
  • Florida Georgia Line – Jonathan, Tara, Ben, Dan
  • Love and Theft
  • Sugarland
  • Thompson Square – Leeann, Kevin

Kevin:  Since they won the CMA’s, I’m assuming Thompson Square will follow up with an ACM.  My preference would be completely eliminating the category.

Leeann:  Sugarland hasn’t done anything in the last year and I have absolutely no interest in the others in this category, so my random guess leans toward Thompson Square.

Ben:  Of all these nominees’ recent output, “Cruise” seems to be the hit with the most staying power, so I imagine Florida Georgia Line will be this year’s stand-in while Sugarland remains MIA. Our vocal duos seriously need to step it up.

Jonathan:  I just can’t with this.

Dan:  I love “Cruise,” and even I’m going to be kind of depressed when this happens.

Tara:  Have we ever needed new Sugarland music more?

Vocal Group of the Yearlittle big town tornado

Should Win:

  •  The Band Perry
  • Eli Young Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town – Tara, Ben, Leeann, Dan, Kevin
  • Zac Brown Band – Jonathan

Will Win:

  • The Band Perry
  • Eli Young Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town – Jonathan, Tara, Ben, Leeann, Dan, Kevin
  • Zac Brown Band

Jonathan:  So, how’s about we just reallocate the obviously superfluous Vocal Duo trophy to recognize two of the acts nominated in this category?  I am honestly fine with four of the five possible outcomes, but LBT is on a years-overdue roll that looks to continue here.

Leeann:  I think Little Big Town finally has a chance of winning this.

Ben:  I believe Little Big Town has this one in the bag, and I’m perfectly happy with that.  They already won Vocal Group at last November’s CMAs, and with a top-selling album and a number-one hit falling within the current eligibility period, the case is much stronger for an LBT victory at the ACMs.  I don’t see how they can lose.

Tara:  I’m with Jonathan – there are four possible deserved victories here. But Little Big Town stole my heart with Tornado, and I’m digging their time in the spotlight, even if it’s ridiculously overdue.

Dan:  Being real:  Their CMA victory for “Pontoon” and “Pontoon” alone was a little silly.  This one will be based on “Pontoon” plus another #1 hit plus an almost-Platinum album, and that’s delicious.

Kevin:  Now we’re all just going to predict Little Big Town after being burned for not doing so at the CMAs and the Grammys!

New Artist of the YearBrantley Gilbert

Should Win:

  • Florida Georgia Line – Dan
  • Brantley Gilbert
  • Jana Kramer – Ben, Leeann

Will Win:

  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Brantley Gilbert – Jonathan, Tara, Ben, Dan, Kevin
  • Jana Kramer

Kevin:  Brantley Gilbert seems popular.  None of them seem award-worthy. Sorry to cop out again, but if I was a voter, I’d leave this category blank, too.

Leeann:  I have no idea who will win, but Jana Kramer is the only one I can remotely stand.

Ben:  All three nominees had solid successes this past year, but Kramer is the one I see as having the most potential.  But fan-voted categories are not based on potential, so Gilbert’s strong internet fan base will likely power-vote him to victory.

Jonathan:  Kramer is the Death Is Not An Option choice, I guess, but I am not at all invested in any of these three acts.

Dan:  FGL are the only ones here who have done anything I actually enjoy, so I’ll gamble on them despite their unbearable first album.

Tara:  Dude, where’s Kip Moore?

Album of the YearChief

Should Win:

  • Carrie Underwood, Blown Away – Tara, Ben, Kevin
  • Eric Church, Chief – Leeann, Dan
  • Taylor Swift, Red
  • Luke Bryan, Tailgates & Tanlines
  • Little Big Town, Tornado – Jonathan

Will Win:

  • Carrie Underwood, Blown Away – Ben
  • Eric Church, Chief – Jonathan, Leeann, Dan, Kevin
  • Taylor Swift, Red
  • Luke Bryan, Tailgates & Tanlines
  • Little Big Town, Tornado – Tara

Leeann:  Eric Church is no longer the underdog and Chief is my favorite nominated album.

Kevin:  With Miranda Lambert not nominated, I’m guessing Eric Church will fill their “honor the cool one in the Album slot” criteria.  Underwood made the best album.

Ben:  Bryan’s album is too uneven, and I don’t feel Swift’s album has any business being nominated at a country awards show.  Any one of the remaining three would make a worthy winner, but I’m hoping and tentatively (read: stubbornly) predicting that voters will recognize Underwood’s recent artistic growth with her second win in this category.

Tara:  I’m going out on a limb with both of these choices.  Blown Away isn’t technically a better album than Chief, but I’d really like to see it get some love, if only to continue to pump creativity and ambition into the Underwood team.  I think there’s a chance that Little Big Town’s heightened profile will give them some legs in this category, though, and I’m cool with that.

Jonathan:  The Church and Little Big Town sets have the best balance between ambition and actual quality of these five albums, and either would be a richly deserving winner.  The bloated Red can be whittled-down to a flat-out brilliant 7-song EP, but even then it’s still a pop record that probably shouldn’t be nominated here on principle.  Church’s CMA win and his overall nomination tally make him the presumptive front-runner, but there isn’t an outcome here that I’d find surprising.

Single Record of the Year

Should Win:LBT pontoon

  • Eli Young Band, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
  • Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
  • Little Big Town, “Pontoon” – Kevin
  • Eric Church, “Springsteen” – Tara, Ben, Leeann, Jonathan, Dan
  • Hunter Hayes, “Wanted”

Will Win:

  • Eli Young Band, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
  • Miranda Lambert, “Over You” – Leeann
  • Little Big Town, “Pontoon” – Jonathan, Tara, Ben, Kevin
  • Eric Church, “Springsteen”
  • Hunter Hayes, “Wanted” – Dan

Leeann:  The CMAs make me hesitate to bet against the Miranda Lambert single, but I vote for “Springsteen.”

Jonathan:  It’s great that he can play so many instruments and all, but Hayes is being grossly over-recognized during the current awards cycle:  I prefer rewarding actual merit to rewarding the potential for merit at some point in the future.  “Springsteen” is the best-produced track here, though the production is also the best attribute of “Pontoon,” which seems like the more likely winner.

Ben:  Quality lyrics with a cool Jay Joyce production gives “Springsteen” an edge in my opinion, but this award could go to any of the five.  My gut prediction is Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” (which incidentally also boasts a cool Jay Joyce production).

Tara:  I could see a surprise win for “Over You” or even for the better (think about that one for a sec) “Wanted,” but my guess is that “Pontoon” will get one last hoorah.

Dan:  It’s going to come down to “Pontoon” and “Wanted,” and just to be different, I’ll guess that the ACM go for the more recent of the two big hits.

Kevin:  “Pontoon” and “Wanted” are career records.   The former was also a career-reviving record, so I give it the edge.

Song of the Yeareli young band even if it breaks your heart

Should Win:

  • “A Woman Like You” – Phil Barton, Johnny Bulford, & Jon Stone (Performed by Lee Brice)
  • “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” – Will Hoge & Eric Paslay (Performed by Eli Young Band) – Jonathan, Tara, Dan, Kevin
  • “Over You” – Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton (Performed by Miranda Lambert)
  • “Springsteen” – Eric Church, Jeff Hynde, & Ryan Tyndell (Performed by Eric Church) – Ben, Leeann
  • “Wanted” – Hunter Hayes & Troy Vergas (Performed by Hunter Hayes)

Will Win:

  • “A Woman Like You” – Phil Barton, Johnny Bulford, & Jon Stone (Performed by Lee Brice)
  • “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” – Will Hoge & Eric Paslay (Performed by Eli Young Band)
  • “Over You” – Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton (Performed by Miranda Lambert) – Jonathan, Tara, Ben, Leeann, Dan, Kevin
  • “Springsteen” – Eric Church, Jeff Hynde, & Ryan Tyndell (Performed by Eric Church)

Jonathan:  “Springsteen” and “Even if It Breaks Your Heart” have been relegated to the status of also-rans throughout the past year’s worth of country awards.  There’s no reason to expect that to change here even though they are, yet again, the best songs nominated.  Thankfully, this is the last major songwriting award Lambert and Shelton will receive for what is far and away the worst-written song in either of their respective catalogues.

Ben:  “Springsteen” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” are the only two worthy nominees in this field, the former of which has my heart.  But who am I kidding?  “Over You” will win, and I will be bracing myself for one final round of fan-gloating on my review of the song.

Kevin:  My preference is “Even if it Breaks Your Heart,” if only because it works as well as a song as it does as a t-shirt.  “Over You” has the star power, but again, the title sums up my feelings about both stars and their strangely popular song.

Leeann:  Again, I won’t bet against “Over You,” but I think “Springsteen” or “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” are the best of these choices.

Tara:  I hope I’m wrong.

Dan:  :-/

Songwriter of the YearAlready presented off-camera; Dallas Davidson wonDallasDavidson

Should Win:

  • Rodney Clawson
  • Dallas Davidson
  • Josh Kear
  • Luke Laird
  • Shane McAnally – Ben, Leeann, Dan

Will Win:  

  • Rodney Clawson
  • Dallas Davidson – Ben, Leeann, Dan
  • Josh Kear
  • Luke Laird
  • Shane McAnally

Leeann:  Since Dallas Davidson is part of The Peach Pickers machine, I expect him to win, but I like Shane McAnally’s work with Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Monroe, Lady Antebellum, Chris Young, etc.

Ben:  I’d love to support Josh Kear for having written “Blown Away,” but Shane McAnally’s fantastic work with Kacey Musgraves puts him over the edge.  Still, I’m expecting that the Peach Picker will pull of a repeat victory in this category.

Video of the YearM_LittleBigTownTornadoVid630_103112

Should Win:

  • Eric Church, “Creepin'” – Ben
  • Kacey Musgraves – “Merry Go ‘Round”
  • Little Big Town, “Tornado” – Jonathan, Dan
  • Hunter Hayes, “Wanted”
  • Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” – Kevin
  • Zac Brown Band, “The Wind”

Will Win:

  • Eric Church, “Creepin'”
  • Kacey Musgraves, “Merry Go ‘Round”
  • Little Big Town, “Tornado” – Dan, Kevin
  • Hunter Hayes, “Wanted” – Jonathan
  • Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” – Ben
  • Zac Brown Band, “The Wind”

Kevin:  Little Big Town’s clip seems the most “artsy,” but I do have to say that the Swift clip wins in my book.  It’s almost like she’s conceding how ridiculous the song and her entire public persona are.

Jonathan:  Hayes is being promoted so heavily that he’s going to have to win something, and this award is always the safest place for voters to recognize an artist that they feel obligated to vote for.  As much as I love the idea of Mike Judge winning, the animation and the music from the video for “The Wind” just don’t work together.  The stylish and not overly literal video for “Tornado” would get my vote, though I do like the videos for “Creepin’” and “Merry Go ‘Round” too.

Ben:  Church’s “Creepin’” video has a lot of energy and character to it, much like the song itself, but I’m smelling a Swift victory here.

Dan:  No clue, but isn’t it cool when Kim and Phil flash those death glares at the innocent townspeople?


Vocal Event of the Yearkelly-clarkson-dont-rush-400x400

Should Win:

  • Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill, “Don’t Rush” – Jonathan, Tara, Ben, Leeann, Dan, Kevin
  • Rascal Flatts featuring Natasha Bedingfield, “Easy”
  • Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, “Feel Like a Rock Star”
  • David Nail featuring Sarah Buxton, “Let It Rain”
  • Jason Aldean featuring Luke Bryan and Eric Church, “The Only Way I Know”

Will Win:

  • Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill, “Don’t Rush” – Jonathan, Tara, Ben
  • Rascal Flatts featuring Natasha Bedingfield, “Easy”
  • Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw,” Feel Like a Rock Star” – Leeann, Kevin
  • David Nail featuring Sarah Buxton, “Let It Rain”
  • Jason Aldean featuring Luke Bryan and Eric Church, “The Only Way I Know” – Dan

Dan:  “Easy” was released in June 2011, off an album from November 2010.  Lol.

Jonathan:  So… Kelly Clarkson is about to have more ACM Awards than Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, and Pam Tillis.  I adore her, but that’s all kinds of wrong.

Kevin:  Because Vince Gill.

Ben:  I rarely support nominees that are not proper duets, but “Don’t Rush” is easily the class of the field.  Plus it’s always nice to see our old friend Vince get a new mantle decoration.

Tara:  Easy choice – just wish it had ended up being a more memorable collaboration.


Filed under ACM Awards

ACM Live Blog 2011


This is going to be a really important show, you guys.


Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift

Top Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Top Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley

Album of the Year: Lady Antebellum, Need You Now

Song of the Year: “The House That Built Me”

Single of the Year: “The House That Built Me”

Top Vocal Duo: Sugarland

Top Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

Top New Artist: The Band Perry

Top Till You Drop:

Vocal Event of the Year: Zac Brown Band & Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away”

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

– – –

10:02 Well, all right, that was fun enough. Kinda. Thanks for playing along, y’all, and have a good night!

9:58 A shocking upset! As shocking as, like, one of those chewy Sweet Tarts.

Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift

9:56 Hey, how about next year we get James Taylor to come back and sing with the Dixie Chicks again? Yes or yes?

9:52 They segue into “Sweet Baby James.” At least this pairing makes musical sense.

9:48 Leeann: Zac Brown and James Taylor, Carrie Underwood and Steven Tyler, Jennifer Nettles and Rihanna? Is CMT testing for upcoming Crossroads episodes?

9:45 Was having some trouble with the site for a few minutes there. Now we’re up to Zac Brown Band doing a very cool “Colder Weather” with James Taylor.

9:41 Amazing how only a year and a half ago the idea of Miranda winning one of the really competitive awards still seemed like a pipe dream.

Top Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

9:36 “Love Gets a Hold of You” or something. It sounds okay – almost in the same you’re-gonna-miss-me-boy! vein as “Turn on the Radio,” though. I think we’re all ready for some more mature Reba now. Take a lesson from Martina.

9:34 Reba’s out to sing something or other. I just saw today that “If I Were a Boy” got yanked as a single; this must be the new one?

9:27 Darius Rucker singing “Music from the Heart” with a choir of various ages and developmental disabilities. Very passionate, touching performance.

9:25 Chris Young’s trying out the hatless thing.

9:25 Oh, for real? At least he acknowledged he has too many now.

Top Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley

9:22 I don’t know how I’m still awake through all this. I shouldn’t be saying such things at 9:23.

9:17 Leeann: Martina is worming her way back into my heart again. I’m a soft touch.

9:17 …Who just tweeted, “Holy crap, I’m singing.” Perfect.

9:14 Awesome. It does. This reminds me of Jeannie C. Riley, the spunky honesty of it. And I like to fantasize that she got some inspiration for that opening “honestly, I think I need a drink” line from Drunken Martina.

9:13 Martina’s coming out with “Teenage Daughters.” I really hope this translates well to stage.

Top Vocal Duo: Sugarland

9:10 Kevin: Naomi Judd: The answer to the age-old question, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

9:09 Leeann: Ronnie Dunn sounds so much like Brooks & Dunn. Go figure.

9:07 He looks and sounds like musical Jesus. I mean that in a complimentary way!

9:03 Ronnie Dunn’s coming up with “Bleed Red.” Excited for that, kinda. I think C.M. Wilcox is right and that it’ll work well as an award show performance even if the single itself is a little sleepy (to some of us).

8:56 Leeann: Good. Have Kristian introduce Nettles/Rihanna to show how secure he is about being put on the sideline all the time. We’re convinced.

8:55 True fact: The banner at the top of this post will light up and spin all through this Rihanna-Jennifer Nettles performance. Watch closely!

8:53 She interjects a bit of some song I should probably recognize but don’t, and then “I’ll Fly Away.” And she sounds real good.

8:53 I bet there are some Christian folks out there from Miranda’s life who are like, “We did not say that!”

8:52 A Miranda performance is usually my favorite part of an awards night. But it’s “Heart Like Mine.”

8:44 Eh. Let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about how awesome that live blog over at The 9513 is!

Top Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

8:41 Or, as our pal Corey Parkman of Farce the Music just put it on Twitter, “I wonder what Sara Evans would sound like if she ever got over that sinus infection.”

8:38 The return of Sara Evans to the ACMs. Last performance I remember from her here was that severely pitch-challenged one of “Coalmine” the night she won Top Female years ago. She sounds better here, but still not up to many of her recorded performances.

8:35 I mean, seriously, y’all. “Need You Now” is the only reason Need You Now has sold like it has, and the album selling like it has is the only reason it’s getting this recognition. “Need You Now” won Song and Single of the Year at last year’s ACMs; couldn’t that have been enough?

8:31 IEIOF432IfffkDdk&*$#vdsadvfdjfpvfs >:(

Album of the Year: Lady Antebellum, Need You Now

8:28 Well, don’t think I was missing much. Such a shame – he truly would be one of the best male vocalists in the game if he had better taste.

8:25 We get a Blake Shelton performance. Don’t recognize the song.

Single of the Year: “The House That Built Me”

8:14 Jason Aldean doing the Colt Ford country-rap “Dirt Road Anthem” and it’s every bit as cool you would imagine. (That is, decidedly un-.)

8:09 Apparently their dad’s name is Steve Perry. I snickered harder than I should have.

Best New Artist: The Band Perry

8:07 Kevin: And my favorite of the 57 performances so far is…Taylor Swift. No one can ever accuse me of not having an open mind.

8:05 Kimberly Perry delivers the “well” in “If I Die Young” with way too much spunk. “Well! I’ve had just enough time. So if I do die – y’know, whatever!”

8:03 Whoops, apparently it’s a guitjo/ganjo. Whatever, it’s not like I’m a writer of music-related opinion articles or something!

8:00 Taylor Swift singing “Mean” and strumming the banjo, which is not how I’ve known anyone to play the banjo. Pretty cool scene, though – they’re in front of an old-timey house and the band’s all decked out in their Depression-era best.

7:55 Kevin: Not naming the songwriters for Song of the Year is an absolute disgrace.

[They announced it as “Miranda Lambert, ‘The House That Built Me,'” though she’s not the one who wrote it.]

Song of the Year: “The House That Built Me”

7:53 Finally, we get one: Song of the Year.

7:50 Eric Church doing “Smoke a Little Smoke,” the one single of his I really dig, with verve. BUT THERE STILL HASN’T BEEN A SINGLE AWARD.

7:45 Back from commercial, Keith Urban performing his newest hit, “Without You (Nicole Kidman)(Pt. 3)(Ballad Version).”

7:42 Leeann: Seriously? Still no award yet? What are we watching?

7:38 Dierks Bentley running laps around the arena to “Am I the Only One,” determined to make us like the unlikable.

7:36 Kevin: That’s what I wanted that song to sound like on the album.

7:35 I’ll say this: JNett still has the best stage charisma of any mainstream country star who isn’t Keith Urban.

7:32 Leeann: Half hour in and still no award yet at this…uh…awards show.

7:32 Sugarland’s here, Jennifer apparently with hair extensions, and they’re doing “Tonight.” Figured this would probably be the next single. Like Kevin, I’d like the recorded version if not for the head-cold-ish performance.

7:30 Well, that was fun. Good thing I gave up on the term “country music” meaning anything a few weeks ago!

7:27 Kevin: We’re officially down the rabbit hole.

7:27 They segue into “Walk This Way.”

7:26 Steven Tyler is really good at screaming awesomely and only ok at remembering the words to Carrie Underwood songs.

7:24 Two Soul Surfer ladies come out to introduce Carrie, who’s doing “Undo It.” WITH STEVEN TYLER! OK, I like this now.

7:20 Apparently Dr. Pepper’s current slogan is “There’s nothing like a Dr. Pepper.” Uhhhh.

7:17 Pleasant enough song (“Somewhere Else”), and he’s got that sweet Toby growl going.

7:16 Leeann: It’s nice to like Toby Keith music these days.

7:14 “ARE THEY READY?! DOES ZAC BROWN ENJOY THE FEEL OF HIS ASS IN THE SAND?!” Best Blake line of the night so far.

7:13 The celebrity cheap shots are coming hard and fast, though.

7:10 We are promised no Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan jokes. God? Is that you?!?

7:07 Celine Dion’s here now, and she’s VERY VERY EXCITED! I honestly can’t think of a better Vegas gate-keepeer, though.

7:07 Kevin: Since when did Alabama become a trio? What a poorly cropped picture, lawsuit or not.

7:06 It would be great if, instead of writing songs about how great the classic acts were, today’s artists just figured out how to measure up.

7:04 Leeann: Good. We get this disappointing Paisley  song out of the way now.

7:04 “Old Alabama” now.

7:02 Cute-ish opening skit with Blake Shelton “rehearsing for his wedding night” by serenading a blond-wigged Reba with “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking.”

6:52 Leeann: John Rich is so much more tolerable when he’s with Big Kenny.

6:38 The JaneDear Girls just appeared onscreen. When are they un-appearing, I wonder?

6:33 Wynonna and Naomi Judd chilling with Suzanne Alexander now. Colorically speaking, Wynonna has become a human sunset.

6:31 Chris Young is now talking to Storme which means his voice is audible – yay!

6:26 On some red carpet somewhere, GAC’s Storme Warren just presented to Vocal Event award, inevitably, to “As She’s Walking Away.”

6:15 Dierks Bentley will be playing “Am I the Only One” tonight. Have fun, no one!

6:04 Super-jealous of The 9513’s sweet new live blog layout. Also: the smartness of their live-bloggers. Also: the fact that Brady and Brody Vercher are named thusly.

5:59 Red carpet time, woo!! I bet everybody’s totally wearing clothes this year.

[Dan from here on out, unless otherwise noted.]

5:21 I…….this post……AM BORN


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