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CMA Awards: Best and Worst of the Broadcast

The real winners were announced Wednesday night at the 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards. But here are a few more honors from the telecast you should feel free to weigh in on:

Best “Suck it, haters” Taylor Swift moment ever: So not only did George Strait, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, and Rascal Flatts — all people for whom Swift opened at the start of her career — come out onstage to present the 23-year-old with the Pinnacle Award, there was also a video including kind messages from Mick Jagger, Justin Timberlake, Carly Simon, Julia Roberts, and Ethel Kennedy, among others. Watch it below. It’s might have been the best acceptance speech of Swift’s career, as she paid respect to each of the artists onstage with her.  READ FULL STORY

CMA nominations 2013: The snubs and surprises

Kacey-Musgraves-Review

Now that the 47th Annual CMA award nominations have been announced, here are a few thoughts on who made the cut, who was sorely left out — and the things that just don’t make much sense:

SURPRISE! Kacey Musgraves The Nashville newcomer scored six nominations (five for her own music, one for co-writing Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart”), which tied pack-leader Taylor Swift. Musgraves may not have the sales power of Swift, but she clearly has the industry support. Not many Best New Artist nominees also find themselves competing for awards like Best Female Artist or Album of the Year, a category that her disc Same Trailer Different Park absolutely deserves to win.

SNUB: Carrie Underwood An acclaimed album, four number one singles, and a 110-date arena tour (not to mention her new Sunday Night Football duties) were not enough to finally earn the perennial CMA Awards host her first Entertainer of the Year nomination. Annoyingly, this snub has been going on for a while. Methinks there must be record label politics holding her back. How else do you explain Jason Aldean, whose recent singles have floundered, sneaking into the category ahead of her? READ FULL STORY

CMT Awards: Best and worst of the broadcast

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The real winners were announced last night at the 2013 CMT Music Awards, a fan-voted program that technically honors country-music videos. Still, here are a few more honors from the unremarkable telecast you should feel free to weigh in on:

Worst hosts: With dead eyes and a stiff posture, Jason Aldean left returnee Kristen Bell to once again try way too hard to elicit laughter from the crowd. Their ongoing gag about which duet to sing together (a thinly veiled attempt to get people to use the #CMTawards hashtag) was downright painful — and frequent teleprompter issues didn’t help. These two were no Brad and Carrie. They were no Blake and Reba, either. Heck, they were no Blake and Luke — and that’s saying something. READ FULL STORY

ACM Awards: Best and worst of the broadcast

The real winners were announced last night at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. But here are a few more honors from the telecast you should feel free to weigh in on: READ FULL STORY

ACM Awards 2013: See the winners here!

Did Blake and Miranda maintain their reign as the king and queen of country? Did Taylor Swift take home a third Entertainer of the Year trophy? And did newly engaged Best New Artist nominees Jana Kramer and Brantley Gilbert beat out Florida Georgia Line? Check out all the country stars taking home trophies at tonight’s 48th Annual ACM Awards: READ FULL STORY

Grammy Nominations 2013: Your water cooler cheat sheet!

The Grammy nominations are in — and by now, we hope you’ve had time to do the following: Read the full list of major nominees, peruse Kyle Anderson’s take on the biggest snubs and surprises, and enjoy Scooter Braun’s Twitter tantrum.

But if all that’s not enough for you, we’ve cobbled together some interesting trends about this year’s crop of Grammy nominees — so even if you’re not a Grammys aficionado, you can pretend to be one around the office.

* The Best Album category this year is oddly rock-heavy With the notable exception of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, the Best Album category is dominated by rock acts. But whereas the category (until very recently) used to feature the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, it’s now honoring a newer crop of rockers.

Or, as one of my co-workers put it, “It’s like the Grammy voters have replaced their old fogies with young fogies.” The inclusion of The Black Keys’ El Camino and Jack White’s Blunderbuss feels especially odd, since both of those acts’ previous albums were substantially better than those efforts. (Though the White Stripes’ excellent 2004 release Elephant did get a nod that year.) Add in Mumford & Sons’s Babel and fun.’s Some Nights, and you’ve got a very dude-ish, very guitar-heavy category. READ FULL STORY

CMA Awards: Best and worst of the broadcast

The real winners were announced last night at the 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards. But here are a few more honors from the telecast you should feel free to weigh in on:

Best Hosts: There really aren’t enough superlatives to describe the effervescent duo of Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood — they’re simply the best. If you were to look through the last five years of Oscar/Grammy/Tony/Emmy telecasts, you’d be hard pressed to find one joke that could compete with Paisleywood’s opening monologue. Their goofy (and increasingly saucy) hosting style always brings the laughs, and they keep the show moving briskly. On top of that, they both performed their own singles, delivered heartfelt tributes to Andy Griffith and Connie Smith, and demonstrated impressive “Gangnam Style” technique. Do better than that, Seth MacFarlane.

Best performance: I’m a sucker for the CMA Awards’ tribute performances (I still get a little teary thinking about last year’s Glen Campbell effort), and this year’s Willie Nelson-centered medley was no exception. Charles Kelly and Hillary Scott (of Lady Antebellum) sounded terrific on “Always on My Mind,” as did Blake Shelton and Keith Urban on “Whiskey River” and Faith Hill and Tim McGraw on “Good Hearted Woman.” The whole thing felt so warm that when Nelson himself took the stage and sang “The life I love is making music with my friends,” (from “On the Road Again”), you really believed it was happening in that moment. Watch below. READ FULL STORY

Who should win at the CMA Awards? -- POLLS

Tonight is country music’s biggest night. The 46th annual Country Music Association Awards will air at 8:00 p.m. on ABC, and it’s already shaping up to be a great show.

Why? Well, because the CMA Awards are always a great show. In an overcrowded field of country awards (ACAs, I still haven’t warmed up to you), the CMA Awards remain the most prestigious — and most entertaining — of the bunch.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who have become quite the formidable comic duo, are returning for a fifth year as hosts (check out their interview about the show here), and performances from stars like Kelly Clarkson and The Band Perry, both of whom will perform new singles, as well as Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean will keep the night rocking.

But at the center of the awards are still, believe it or not, the actual awards! We’ve already given you our thoughts on all the nominations (as well as all the snubs and surprises), but now let’s handicap who might win in the major categories. READ FULL STORY

How Mumford & Sons and Taylor Swift are causing a seismic shift in the music industry

The biggest debut of 2012 doesn’t belong to a glossy pop act like One Direction or Justin Bieber.

Sure, those boys have hordes of teenage girls ready to download their music at the drop of a tweet, but they’ve got nothing on the scruffy gents of Mumford & Sons, whose new disc, Babel sold 600,000 copies in its first seven days. (The next-best opening? Bieber’s Believe, with 374,000 in week 1.)

Babel‘s success (it has now led the chart for three weeks and sold 865,000 copies total) is indicative of a larger shift within the music industry. As pop music morphs into a glow-stick dance party, country acts have adopted the traditional pop sound. That leaves Mumford and the burgeoning Americana and folk genres (think acoustic guitars, banjos, and innumerable fitted tweed vests) to fill the country void. Did you get all that? Allow us to break it down. READ FULL STORY

CMA Awards: Eric Church leads noms (and Snoop Dogg's in the house!)

Nominations for the 46th Annual CMA Awards (airing live on Nov. 1 on ABC) were announced this morning on Good Morning America. Eric Church led the way with five nods, including Male Vocalist and Album of the Year, along with Song, Single, and Video of the Year for his hit “Springsteen.” (Not a country music fan? Give that one listen and get back to us.)

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert scored four noms a piece while Taylor Swift, who earned three noms, was the lone female to make the Entertainer of the Year category. Kelly Clarkson’s nom for Female Vocalist of the Year is slightly less of a surprise than Snoop Dogg popping up in Musical Event of the Year (listen to Willie Nelson’s “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” featuring Snoop, Kris Kristofferson, and Jamey Johnson). The full nominees list: READ FULL STORY

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