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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

CMT-MIRANDA-LAMBERT.jpg

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

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

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

CMA Awards 2012: See the winners here!

Check out all the country stars who took home trophies during tonight’s 46th Annual CMA Awards. Tomorrow morning, you can find a full recap of the show (UPDATE: It’s live now!), but in the meantime, feel free to read TV Critic Ken Tucker’s review of the show, see how EW readers voted for who they thought deserved each award, enjoy Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood’s funniest jokes, tear up at Blake Shelton and Miranda’s emotional acceptance speech, reflect on Taylor Swift’s Parisian-themed performance, and sound off in the comments below!

Awarded before the show:

Musical Event of the Year: “Feel Like A Rock Star,” Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw

Music Video of the Year: “Red Solo Cup,” Toby Keith

Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally

During the telecast:

Single of the Year: “Pontoon” by Little Big Town

Vocal Duo of the Year: Thompson Square

Song of the Year: “Over You” (written by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton)

Album of the Year: Chief, Eric Church

New Artist of the Year: Hunter Hayes

Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town

Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert

Entertainer of the Year: Blake Shelton

What did you think of the CMA Award recipients?

More CMA Awards coverage:
Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood’s best jokes
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert’s tearful acceptance speech
Taylor Swift performs ‘Begin Again’ at the CMA Awards

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

Album Sales: Pink scores her first No. 1, Kanye rides in second -- but Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Kiss' is a miss

A dozen years into her multiplatinum career, Pink has scored her first ever(!) number one album this week with her new disc The Truth About Love, which topped the Billboard 200 with sales of 280,000.

Driven by the success of her Top 5 single “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” — and it’s lippy VMA performanceTruth became Pink’s sixth straight Top 10 debut. Still, until today, her previous chart high came with the 2008 set Funhouse, which debuted at No. 2.

Pink is that rare breed of pop star — the kind that can sell both singles and albums. Not so for everyone on this week’s list though: READ FULL STORY

Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson and more to perform at CMA Awards

ABC has announced the first crop of performers for the 46th Annual CMA Awards and it’s shaping up to be a powerhouse show.

Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Kelly Clarkson, and Little Big Town will all take the stage on Nov. 1. Aldean currently holds the title for CMA Album of the Year and shared the prize for Musical Event of the Year with Clarkson for their duet “Don’t You Want to Stay.” Meanwhile, Clarkson has received a nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year, though she faces some tough competition from Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood. Bentley is up for three awards — Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year — while Little Big Town has also received a trio of nods for Single of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Music Video of the Year.

Tickets for the CMA Awards will go on sale on Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. CT. You can purchase them here.

Read more:
Jason Aldean debuts title track of new album ‘Night Train’ live (and it’s awesome) — VIDEO
CMA Awards 2012: Snubs and surprises
CMA Awards: Eric Church leads noms (and Snoop Dogg’s in the house!)

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