Friday, September 13, 2013

"The 47th Annual CMA Awards"

Beginning in 1967, the Country Music Association (CMA) has honored and recognized the best in country music. Over the past four decades, the CMA Awards broadcast has grown into what is now know worldwide as “Country Music’s Biggest Night™.”

Airing on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 (on ABC), the CMA will hand out its iconic trophy to the best in country music across twelve categories, and the CMA takes as much pride in the actual trophy as it does in the award it represents.

The trophy each winner will receive is a hand-blown fine Italian Crystal obelisk with a beveled base. It is hand-made in Florence, Italy, but the final assembly is done in Nashville by Francis & Lusky. The 15” trophy weighs 7.5 pounds, contains the CMA logo die-struck in polished bronze, and has the winner’s name and CMA award engraved into it. Of all the awards shows, the CMA trophy is the most aesthetic.

Unlike some awards shows, where the fans cast the votes to determine the winners, the CMA Awards are determined by ballots cast by the more than 11000 industry professional members of the CMA. So, instead of a popularity contest based on an artist’s fan base, the CMA Award winners are chosen and honored by their peers in the music industry.

This year’s show will be co-hosted (for the 6th consecutive year) by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. The past five years have been a pleasure to watch with both of them as hosts (with the exception of Carrie and Brad poking fun (in bad taste) at Taylor Swift’s latest break-up during the 2012 show). Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood have a chemistry together that works very well for the show. Where almost all other awards shows change the host or hosts every year, the CMA has chosen to stick with the same ones. The people in country music are smart that way—if it ain’t broke... don’t fix it!

This past Tuesday, the CMA announced the nominations for 2013. There were some surprise names that showed up and some names that were surprisingly absent from the list. The two leaders in number of nominations are both female and a little surprising. Kacey Musgraves and Taylor Swift both landed six nominations each—followed closely by Blake Shelton with five nominations.

Kacey Musgraves is a relative new comer to the country music scene and is nominated for “New Artist of the year.” That nomination is no surprise—her powerful vocals basically scream country music. Even her nominations for “Single of the year” and “Song of the year” (as a songwriter) are not that surprising. What I find surprising (not in a bad way) is that very rarely will you see a “New Artist of the year” nominee also nominated for “Female Vocalist of the year,” a category usually reserved for those who have been in the industry for many years.

Also surprising to me, is the six nominations for Taylor Swift. It’s not that she isn’t talented and popular (I do like her music), but the pop/country crossover artist has crossed so far over into pop music that Nashville is nothing more than a distant and dim shimmer of lights in her musical rear-view mirror. How she can still be nominated for country music awards baffles me and upsets me. She is no more a country music artist than Carley Rae Jepsen or Katy Perry, and by pretending to still be country when it suits her, she is basically stealing nomination spots from others that are more deserving and much more country. It really came as no surprise when the 2012 CMA Awards garnered Taylor Swift zero wins from her three nominations.

Kelly Clarkson is again nominated for “Best Female Vocalist,” which is odd, as she really doesn't have that solid of a foothold in the country music industry, yet. Talented? Absolutely. Strong enough presence? Not really.

Hunter Hayes, who was the 2012 winner of the “Best New Artist” received no nominations this year. The multiple Grammy nominated singer has had three consecutive Number 1 hits off his debut album, “I want Crazy,” but still got snubbed in all categories.

Finally, Carrie Underwood received three nominations, but has once again been denied a nomination for “Entertainer of the year.” Carrie Underwood has amassed six Grammys, and her latest album, Blown Away, has sold well over 1.5 million copies, which made it the second best selling country album of 2012. She just finished up her 114 date “Blown Away Tour," and has been described by Billboard as being “Country Music’s reigning Queen.” Does it make sense to anyone that her name is still missing from the “Entertainer of the year” nominations?

Nonetheless, the CMA Awards will be an amazing show as always—Showcasing the best in country music and giving the fans a show to remember. The CMA Awards broadcast is one of the best and should not be missed—Wednesday, November 6, 2013... don’t be late!

My predictions on who will walk away with a trophy will be posted closer to the broadcast.
(Update: November 5, 2013 - Read my predictions here.

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Are you surprised by some of the nominations? Are you upset by those passed over this year? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

You can read the complete list of all the nominations and check out the latest news on the CMA Awards official website.

All above images in this post are Copyright © 2011-2013 CMA Country Music Association
Used with permission  

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