by Faith Parker
On Wednesday, November 9th ABC network hosted the 45th Annual Country Music Awards. The event aired from 8pm to 11pm Eastern time with country music stars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood as the hosts. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Paisley and Underwood duo have been chosen to host the highly anticipated CMAs.
The night’s events opened up with a duet between Blake Shelton and Kenny Loggins singing “Footloose” from the newly released movie. This opening act was followed up by the traditional comical monologue between the two hosts. This year’s opening skit proved to be even funnier than last year’s. Paisley and Underwood sang about Justin Bieber being falsely accused of fathering a child and made a mockery of Kim Kardashian’s marriage that only last seventy two days. During this skit Hank Williams Junior joined the hosts on stage after they mocked his controversy with ESPN and his “Monday Night Football” theme song that took place this past October.
The rest of the evening included performances by a wide variety of artists. This list included: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Natasha Beddingfield, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, Matt Nathanson, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Grace Potter, Lionel Richie, Darius Rucker, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Thompson Square, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, and Zac Brown Band.
As for the awards aspect of the show, the Band Perry was awarded the first two awards of the night and ended the evening as the big winner with three awards in total. Newlyweds Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton made hearts melt when they each took home the award for Female and Male Vocalist of the Year. Both of these singers have had a big year and fans couldn’t help but “awe” when Blake cheered his wife on as she walked up to the stage to receive her award. Other winners of the evening included Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Jason Aldean, and the Director of Kenny Chesney’s video of the year Shaun Silva. The biggest loser of the evening was the Zac Brown Band, losing in all four awards that they were nominated for.
The biggest shock came at the end of the night when the most prestigious award of Entertainer of the Year was announced. Nominees included Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, and Kieth Urban. When Taylor Swift heard her name announced her mouth dropped. She expressed her excitement at the podium by saying “I’m so happy right now! Thanks to all the fans who filled up those stadiums and arenas all over the world this year. … This is amazing!” The twenty one year old singer-song writer received this award two years ago, and is only one of two female performers in history to take home this award twice. Barbara Mandrell is the only other female artist to have received this award twice.
For many long time country fans, this award show was rather disappointing. A lot of the old time country stars and legends have begun to fade out and a new pop sound has taken their place. Many country music fans do not see artists such as Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert or bands like Sugarland as Country, but yet all of these artists took home a CMA. Has this year’s award ceremony marked a change in the sound of country music? Will the next year hold more Taylor Swift artists singing with a pop sound about high school romances or will country music find another legend like Tim McGraw who is unmistakably country? For the sake of the country music world, let’s hope for more Tim McGraws!