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2008 CMA Awards Wrap-Up

November 13, 2008

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Well another one of country music’s biggest nights in the book, and oh was it an interesting show to say the least. From uninvited rock and rap stars torepetitive winners to one of the most obvious special guests they could have invited this wasn’t really one of the best of country music’s biggest nights. However, it had its shining moments that made it worth the three hour watch. Here is the recap.

Best Performance: “Just A Dream” by Carrie Underwood

By far the best introduction of the night and one of the more honorable moments in the show Carrie blew her latest #1 hit away flawlessly. When I saw the performance I was actually following Country Universe’slive blog and, to quote them, they mentioned “Martina looked confused when she didn’t get her standard ovations for her power notes.  The reason why is singing right now.  Carrie’s raised the bar.” This is spot on. Her performance was followed by her deserving win for female vocalist of the year. Carrie was beginning to sound a little old for me, but this performance brought her right back to her peak. If there was any last shade of doubt that she belongs here, this showing finally eliminated it once and for all.

Worst Performance(s): “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock, “Love Story” by Taylor Swift.

Lets begin with Kid Rock. I love his song, it was a great summertime song and he’s always welcome in my book as a potential guest to country radio. However when you wear sports tee’s a cap and shining sunglasses and prance around the stage with baggy jeans and sneakers doing rap movements with your hands..you ain’t singing country. Not to mention, as great as it is to see him acknowledge country, Little Wayne did not need to share the stage. Was he even playing his guitar? He may the king of rap, and he really is a living legend in his own area, but he added nothing at all to that performance. As far and Swift’s performance it was a great showing…but it was too flashy and very off pitch. Swift sounded nervous and flat the whole time, obviously nervous because she usually nails “Love Story”, and the costume change was a little too flashy. I love Taylor as an artist but she needs to be a little more confident and less showy in these award shows.

Most Deserving Award(s): Carrie Underwood as Female Vocalist, Brad Paisley as Male Vocalist

The hosts this year both took home their respective awards as female and male artist of the year for the second consecutive year together, however Carrie holds hers for one more consecutive year, 3, than Brad, 2. If you crunch the numbers as far as chart success, popularity and even album sales these two are the most deserving of the night for their wins. Brad just matched Rodney Crowell’s record for most consecutive #1’s from a single album, he set the record for most consecutive #1’s non-stop in a row in the new era and has been one of the hottest touring artists of the year. He also recently released his instrumental project Play to follow up the success of 5th Gear. Carrie has matched Brad in history by matching Rosanne Cash and Shania as the female with the most #1’s from a single album, her four from Carnival Ride. While they may not the the top touring acts, radio and consumers certainly love them.

Least Deserving Award:Rascal Flatts for Group of The Year

I am very pro-Rascal Flatts personally. However I don’t believe they have had their brightest year. These guys are big, they will likely stay that way, but they have had the least impressive showing of their career so far and while their competition wasn’t much to blink and eye at compared to their past accomplishments I believe Lady Antebellum, the New Artist Award winners, should have scored this one. Maybe now the boys will have some competition in coming years.

Biggest Surprise Award: Lady Antebellum for New Artist

Formerly the Horizon Award, the New Artist categorywas filled with some of the most competitive nominees. Rondey Atkins seemed to have it locked up with four #1 singles to his name while the competitionwas filled with either inconsistent or relatively newer artists. However the new group on the block surprisingly turned things their way and Lady Antebellum took home the big trophy. While I feel for Rodney and the success he’s had this year, it’s exciting to see the new trio win an award so randomly that its almost a cry from the music industry to finally serve some competition to the Flatts boys in the near future.

Best New Single Performance: “Sweet Thing” by Keith Urban

Casual, fun, enjoyable…Keith knows how to bring it and he does it flawlessly every time. Keith took the stage and just did his thing without any really flashy effects and his vocals were spot on. Of course it’s a great song too so it had everyone on their feet dancing and clapping along. This is the kind of performance that makes #1 hits out of concert favorites..this is how he brought “You Look Good In My Shirt” to #1 and now he will probably debut his latest hit in the top 20 and finally be able to compete against Paisley and Kenny for their wins next year as he was able to do a few years ago.

Welcome to The Club:Darius Rucker

You know you’re a good singer when you can shift from rock to country and hit #1 AND be invited to perform said #1 on the biggest award show country music has to offer. Not only did Ruckerbecome the first black man sense Charlie Pride to make it to #1 at country radio, he also turned out one of the more traditional sounding songs of the night and performed it so well he sounded almost exactly like his radio single except for a few moments where he played with his vocals a little to add some spice. Welcome to the club Darius.

Congrats to James Otto

Just as a personal fan I would like to send congrats to James Otto who revealed after the performance of his first #1 hit “Just Got Started Lovin’ You” that that same song has been announced.

Congrats to McAnally

Mac McAnally took home his very first CMA for musician of the year. You may recognize him as the other half of Chesney’s new single “Down The Road”. Congrats Mac, well deserved.

The Big “Surprise”:Shania Returns to the CMA Stage

Shania Twain made a surprise appearance as the presenter of Kenny Chesney’s fourth Entertainer of the Year Award. ABC had advertised it as an appearance that would have everyone talking…well I’m not hearing much. I am glad to see her back but there’s no sign of new material, yet, and come on..who couldn’t have expected this. It’s not much of a big surprise when you think about it. The funny thing is that AOL during the show actually broadcasted that Shania had been spotted on the red carpet and thus completely spoiled the big surprise for many people. The standing ovation for Shania was great and well deserved, considering she was the biggest star in attendance, however it wasn’t all that shocking to see her return as a presenter.

The Entertainer Chases History: Kenny Win’s Big For a Fourth Time

Kenny Chesney takes home his fourth Entertainer of The Years Award, his third in a row, matchinghim with Garth for the most awards in the category. Kenny has been hot, hot, hot lately on and off radio, but who will be the one to dethronehim and will it be next year? Kenny now chases country music history by attempting to win the award for a fifth time to post a new record. Garth, now in retirement, took the award how four times, two in the start of his reign and two near the end. Kenny’s career, however, is far from over so he has the upper hand and all he needs is one more win to set the record straight. No doubt he’ll keep doing what he’s been doing and try to win it next year too.

Congrats to the Hall Of Fame Inductees

Just a quick congrats to the newest members of the Country Music Hall Of Fame, Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Ernest “Pop” Stoneman and the Statler Brothers.

Tribute to Jerry Reed

Also it was nice to hear Brad do a small acoustic instrumental dedicated to Jerry Reed before his great performance of “Waitin’ On A Woman”. One of the shows bigger highlights.

Host Review: Carrie and Brad

While Carrie Underwood was swapping through 7 or 8 dresses all night, Brad had a hard enough time shifting from performance wear to tux as he ran off the stage after the opening with Keith and back still fixing his tie to meet with co-host Carrie. The show was filled with many mildly hilarious gestures from Brad, which would have gone over better had he not sounded like he was in fact reading from a script. They did a decent job as hosts, but they were much better singers that hosts in the end and pailed in comparison to other duos who have taken the liberty of hosting duties throughout the years.

 

Well that does it for another year of CMA awards. Feel free to leave your own comments and let me know you’re take of the night.

 

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
* Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Sugarland
Keith Urban

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
* Carrie Underwood
Alison Krauss
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
* Brad Paisley
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
George Strait
Keith Urban

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
* Lady Antebellum
Jason Aldean
Rodney Atkins
James Otto
Kellie Pickler

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
* Rascal Flatts
Eagles
Emerson Drive
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
* Sugarland
Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
The Wreckers

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
* “I Saw God Today”, George Strait

“Don’t Blink”, Kenny Chesney
“Gunpowder & Lead”, Miranda Lambert

“Stay”, Sugarland
“You’re Gonna Miss This”
Trace Adkins

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
* Troubadour, George Strait
Carnival Ride, Carrie Underwood
Cowboy Town, Brooks & Dunn
Good Time, Alan Jackson
Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates,Kenny Chesney


SONG OF THE YEAR
* “Stay”
“Good Time”
“I Saw God Today”
“Letter To Me”

“You’re Gonna Miss This”

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
* “Waitin’ On A Woman”, Brad Paisley
“Don’t Blink”, Kenny Chesney
“Good Time”, Alan Jackson
“Stay”, Sugarland

“You’re Gonna Miss This”, Trace Adkins

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
* Mac McAnally – Guitar
Jerry Douglas – Dobro
Paul Franklin – Steel Guitar
Dann Huff – Guitar
Brent Mason – Guitar

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2008 12:19 am

    Nice recap!

  2. Gail permalink
    November 17, 2008 2:12 pm

    I totally agree about the two best performances….Carrie and Keith. I saw them in concert together and they sang an old Stevie Nicks song, STop Dragging My Heart Around and it was GREAT! I just think that EOTY should have gone to Keith. He may not fill the stadiums, but his kind of entertaining and his vocals top Kenny Chesney in my book! Carrie Underwood is a class act.

  3. December 16, 2010 4:07 pm

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