Friday, November 12, 2010

CMA Awards 2010

On Wednesday night the country music industry decided to anoint Miranda Lambert as the next superstar of country music. Lambert won big at Wednesday night’s CMA Awards taking home awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Music Video of the Year. Her song “The House That Built Me” won Song of the Year, while Lambert’s future husband Blake Shelton won Male Vocalist of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year.

Artist such as Vince Gill, the Dixie Chicks, and Keith Urban have received similar pushes from the country industry, and reaped great success because of it. Of course success is only fleeting, so Ms Lambert should enjoyed her time at the top while she can.

With Lambert’s accession country music is now dominated by 3 major female superstars (Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Lambert) and 2 groups (Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band). Solo male artists exist, but none is at the level of these five artists. There may not be a lot of female artists having success, but the ones that are, are at the very top.

Other CMA Award show thoughts:

Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson “Don’t You Wanna Stay?” was excellent, and I think the performance will help the song become a signature hit for Aldean. I don’t think Aldean is the greatest vocalist, but his CMA performance was one of his better ones, while Clarkson simply was the best vocalist of the night. I have always believed Kelly Clarkson is a country singer at heart, and given the right material could be one of the greatest country music singers ever.

Sugarland looked like fools while performing “Stuck Like Glue”. Some people like the song, some don’t, but those stupid customs (they look like something out of the Nutcracker), and Jennifer Nettles quirking vocal performance will come back to haunt them. That’s a shame because Nettles can be a gripping vocalist when she just stands there and sings.

Taylor Swift performance of “Back to December” was her best on live television in a long time. The song itself is good, and the fact it was a ballad in the midst of night that feature mostly rocking songs aided its appeal. People who dislike Swift will immediately attack anything she does, while those that love her will defend anything she does. This is the life of a superstar just ask Garth Brooks and Shania Twain.

I was also into Dierks Bentley’s “Up on the Ridge” and the Zac Brown Band/Alan Jackson “She’s Walking Away” because I like bluegrass and Alan Jackson.

I have never really been into Brad Paisley’s music or Brad Paisley the man, but his emotional acceptance of the Entertainer of the Year Award put him in a very good light. It showed him as a real human being whose drive to make music was fueled by motivations his fan can indentify with. This will likely be the peak of Brad Paisley career, and if it is he will be able to look back satisfied that he correctly acknowledged the role his family and fans played in getting him to that moment.

Finally since I have been watching the CMA’s forever here is a list of people who have won CMA Entertainer of the Year since 1990 – George Strait, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, and Brad Paisley. Reba McEntire won back in 86 while Clint Black, Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, and Carrie Underwood have so far been denied.

The CMA deserves some credited for rightfully awarding its highest honor to almost all of the biggest stars in country music the last 20 years. You can argue so and so should have won more or won less, but you cannot say anyone one on that winners list does not deserve to have an Entertainer of the Year award in their trophy case.

Maybe one day soon Miranda Lambert will be clearing a space for her CMA award as after Wednesday night, it looks like the country music industry certainly likes her a lot.