Thursday, November 12, 2009

Here's today's country tidbits...

It was a good night to be new-Nashville last night. Taylor Swift cleaned up, winning four awards including Entertainer of the Year. She's the youngest to ever win that honor. Lady Antebellum was up for two awards and snagged them both - Single of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year. And Darius Rucker won Best New Artist, though he's only new to country music. It was a good night to be a rocker playing to a country crowd, as the audience seemed to really enjoy the contributions of Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Dave Matthews, Kid Rock and Daughtry. It was also a good night to be vintage Nashville, as Barbara Mandrell was inducted into the Hall of Fame during the show. Martina McBride hinted yesterday that she had a surprise - it was that George Strait joined her onstage for a duet of Barbara's classic song, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool."

What do the CMA voters take into consideration when voting for Entertainer of the Year? Album sales, radio hits, successful tours, and representing country music well in the media. While all of the nominees had most of the elements, Taylor Swift was clearly the dominant player where album sales and radio hits are concerned.

Random notes from the show: the "crown" over the stage looked like the base of the Statue of Liberty's crown. I'm sure that wasn't an accident.

Wonder which came first - Taylor Swift's "Monologue Song" for Saturday Night Live or Carrie and Brad's monologue songs last night? All very funny!

Taylor Swift: youngest winner of Entertainer of the Year, second time nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and her first win. When accepting for Album of the Year, she said, "This album is my diary - thanks for saying you like my diary. That's the nicest compliment." Taylor's Dad was her date and he cried when she won Entertainer of the Year. Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban both jumped to their feet when her name was announced, starting the standing ovation for her. During her acceptance speech, she mentioned that she had been an opening act for each of the other nominees in the category, and thanked them for the opportunity. About the women who've won the award before her, she said, "It’s such an honor to know that Reba McEntire even knows my name, and Barbara Mandrell, and the people I’ve looked up to for so long. Reba has been so wonderful to me, as well as Faith Hill, who has been my idol. You spend your whole life looking up to these women who stand on a stage and know how to wow a crowd ... and you meet them and realize they’re as awesome as you thought they were. It’s a really wonderful thing."

Darius Rucker: "To the fans - thank y'all for accepting me."

Sugarland: genuinely surprised to win Vocal Duo of the Year - they invited Brooks & Dunn up to speak, but the boys declined. Then they thanked them for their contribution to country music.

Kellie Pickler and Miranda Lambert BOTH decided to be redheads. Kellie went all-out, and Miranda is sporting red highlights in her blond mane, but wants to go all the way, too.

The Nashville Tennesean has posted a great photo gallery from last night.

And if you just can't get enough of last night's magical moments, seems to have captured them all in one place.

What are Brad Paisley's plans, now that his tour has wrapped for the year and his hosting duties at the CMAs are behind him? He's taking the rest of the year off to be home with his family. The American Saturday Night tour kicks back up again in January.

Get one awards show behind us and another starts revvin' up! Sugarland has been announced as one of the performances on the television special "Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night." The show airs December 2nd on CBS.

Some not-award-show-news: apparently Carrie Underwood has cleaned out some space in boyfriend Mike Fisher's closet, has stocked his kitchen with some of her favorite things and is set to move in. The couple have talked marriage, and Carrie's family just loves her hockey-player boyfriend. Oh, and Biography on A&E features Carrie Underwood tonight.

Bleve Records has released "My First Ride," a benefit CD for the Fraternal Order Of Police and the International Association Of Firefighters Disaster Relief Funds. Lending their voices on the CD are Ronnie Milsap with Trace Adkins, George Strait, Vince Gill, Jenny Gill, John Michael Montgomery, James Otto, The Bacon Brothers and Mike Reid. You can pick it up at selected stores, or download it.

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