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American Country Awards: See the winners here!

Blake-Shelton-Review

Artist of the Year
Winner: Luke Bryan
Jason Aldean
Florida George Line
Blake Shelton

Artist of the Year: Male
Winner: Luke Bryan
Jason Aldean
Kenny Chesney
Eric Church
Blake Shelton

Artist of the Year: Female
Winner: Miranda Lambert
Kelly Clarkson
Sheryl Crow
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Artist of the Year: Duo or Group
Winner: Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist
Winner: Scotty McCreery
Lee Brice
Hunter Hayes
Randy Houser
Justin Moore

Artist of the Year: New Artist
Winner: Florida Georgia Line
Kip Moore
Kacey Musgraves
Cassadee Pope
Thomas Rhett
READ FULL STORY

AMAs 2013: See the complete winners list

Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus made big splashes on the red carpet and on stage, but it was Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake who each continued to break out of their respective genres Sunday night, taking home American Music Awards across several categories. Rihanna was honored with an AMA Icon Award (at only 25!) and country stars Lady Antebellum took away the night’s biggest country category prize.

See the full list of winners below! 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

Lady Antebellum's 'Golden': Watch an acoustic performance here -- EXCLUSIVE

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On May 7, Lady Antebellum will release its fourth studio album, Golden – and the title track, a honey-soaked love letter, was the last song Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood wrote for the record.

They invited Eric Pasley, a fellow Nashville artist and songwriter (Eli Young Band’s “Even if it Breaks Your Heart,” Love and Theft’s “Angel Eyes”) to write with them at Kelley’s home. After a couple false starts on other ideas, Kelley suggested they begin again from scratch: “I said, ‘Just start playing, and I’m gonna start mumbling some words over these melodies, and the song just started pouring out,” he says. “We probably wrote it in a couple of hours over a bottle of wine and delivery pizza. I think the good ones usually come fast like that. ‘Need You Now’ we wrote really quick. Once you find the inspiration” — in this case, their spouses and Scott’s new baby — “everybody’s just throwing out ideas.”

Watch an exclusive acoustic performance of the song below: READ FULL STORY

George Jones tributes: Brad Paisley, Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, and more play covers -- VIDEO

Since the April 26 passing of George Jones, country music artists and fans have been in mourning. But as we all know, music heals, which is why set-lists included tributes to the Possum over the weekend. Here are some that have made their way to YouTube. Jones’ funeral will take place May 2, at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, and be open to the public.

Brad Paisley, “Bartender’s Blues,” “The Race Is On,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “This is Country Music” (his song, with new Jones-centric lyrics)

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

Lady Antebellum talks new single 'Downtown': Listen to it here -- EXCLUSIVE

Lady Antebellum are putting the final touches on their fourth studio album, due this spring, and if the lead single “Downtown” is any indication — and Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood say it definitely is — it’s going to be a fun one.

On the song, which EW is streaming exclusively below, Scott sings lead and sassily asks why her partner doesn’t take her out and show her off anymore. (There’s a playfulness we haven’t heard on a Lady A single since “Lookin’ for a Good Time.”)

Listen after the jump, and find out what they have to say about why this album is different, what they have in common (or not) with a certain PBS television phenomenon, and why their recently-announced CMT Crossroads pairing with Stevie Nicks will be awesome. READ FULL STORY

Best and Worst 2012: The year in country music

Ah, what a year in music it’s been! Here at EW, we’ve been in retrospective overdrive, looking back at the best and worst albums, singles, lyrics, and soundtracks that 2012 had to offer.

But since I’m already primed to hop onto a plane and head home down South for the holidays, I thought it might be fun to take let my music tastes do the same and take a deep-dive into the country music world. Here’s my take on the year that was — country music style:

BEST: Little Big Town The hard-working quartet has always had the respect of Nashville for their on-point harmonies and sumptuous live performances, so it was nice to see them find true mainstream success in 2012. “Pontoon” was a fresh, tongue-in-cheek summer smash that motorboated all the way to No. 1.

BEST: Eric Church With a sand-papery voice, a trademark baseball cap (which have now officially replaced cowboy hats), a drink in his hand, and some genuinely great melodies, Eric Church joined country’s A-list this year. “Springsteen” was a wide-open crossover hit that gave his confidently country disc Chief the mainstream appeal it deserved. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Chief won the CMA Award for Album of the Year, either. READ FULL STORY

American Music Awards: See the winners list here!

America proved its Bieber Fever was strong: The teen singer dominated the American Music Awards on Sunday night.

Bieber’s wins included the show’s top award, artist of the year. The singer’s mom joined him onstage as he collected the top award. He looked to his mom: “I wanted to thank you for always believing in me.”

He said it’s “hard growing up with everyone watching me” and asked that people continue to believe in him.

The 18-year-old also won favorite pop/rock album for Believe, and male artist.

He performed two songs at the award show, one stripped and another upbeat with Nicki Minaj. As Bieber won his second award, he was kissed on the neck by Jenny McCarthy, who presented the award.

Here is a full list of the winners:  READ FULL STORY

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