Grade B for Boring – CMA Awards 2017

Grade B for Boring

CMA Awards Background

This was my very first time watching the Country Music Association (CMAs) Awards from beginning to end. Now, I did take a peek during the 50th Annual CMA Awards because Beyonce was scheduled for a duet with the Dixie Chicks to perform “Daddy Lessons”. It was not to be missed, controversy and all. I checked in, but checked right back out. So, I had to do a little research to get up to speed to even watch the CMA Awards 2017:

  • The CMA, established in 1958, became the first trade organization formed to promote an individual genre of music.
  • The CMA Awards was broadcast on NBC television for the first time in 1968 making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network television.
  • Similar to the Oscars and the Grammys, the CMA Awards are voted on by members of the industry. Members of the Country Music Association are music executives, artists, publicists, songwriters, musicians, and touring professionals.
  • The CMA Award is a 15-inch, 7.5-pound trophy is a stylish, high-value adornment made of hand-blown fine crystal in Florence, Italy, designed to resemble a chart bullet.

The Co-Hosts

I learned that this is the 10th consecutive year that Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood have co-hosted the CMA Awards. This made me realize how much I was really out of the country music loop. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill crashed Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood on set to present them both with “parting gifts”. They both received a personalized Barbie in their own liking. Very cute! This may be an indication of a new hosting chapter to come.

Carrie Underwood HAS to be thee most successful American Idol winner in the show’s history. She’s definitely one of my favs! What wasn’t my fav was any of the dresses she changed into between presenting. Carrie Underwood’s dress selection came directly from the quincinera/prom/mother-in-law outlets in the Garment District in Downtown Los Angeles. This was the saddest part of these awards. Seven dress changes and we were not even halfway through the award show. The twittersphere apparently didn’t appreciate the dress at all! I thought it was just me.

Honestly…I have absolutely NO idea if Brad changed clothes at all.

Articles and tweets were abuzz because co-hosts threw in a little jab at President 45 in a cute jingle. The co-hosts belted out a rendition of  Underwood’s hit “Before He Cheats, ultimately changing the title lyric to “maybe next time he’ll think before he tweets“. This has to be the least political grandstanding compared to what I’ve come across in the award shows I usually watch.

The Awards and Performances

In true fashion, I missed the first 10 minutes of the show and didn’t get to see Darius Rucker perform because he opened the show.

A performance by Eddie Montgomery, Dierks Bentley and Rascal Flatt’s Gary LeVox brought the house to tears. Their collaboration was a tribute to Troy Gentry who was killed in a helicopter crash at age 50 in early September. They took the stage to perform Montgomery Gentry’s 2002 crossover hit “My Town.” The camera did pan to Troy’s widow. The scene was very moving.

Taylor Swift took home song of the year with “Better Man”. I need to give this single a try, folks were raving about the lyrics. And I absolutely love Taylor Swift’s lyrics!

Most notably, Jon Pardi, who looks just like Asher from How to Get Away with Murder, won New Artist of the Year.

And, it seems the biggest upset of the night seemed to be the 7th consecutive win by Miranda Lambert for Female Vocalist of the Year. AGAIN!

Here is a full list of winners and nominees:

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert — WINNER
Reba McEntire
Maren Morris
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year
Dierks Bentley
Eric Church
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton — WINNER
Keith Urban

New Artist of the Year
Luke Combs
Old Dominion
Jon Pardi — WINNER
Brett Young
Lauren Alaina

Music Video of the Year
Little Big Town, “Better Man”
Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
Thomas Rhett feat. Maren Morris, “Craving You”
Miranda Lambert, “Vice”
Brothers Osborne, “It Ain’t My Fault” — WINNER

Vocal Duo of the Year
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
Brothers Osborne — WINNER

Entertainer of the Year
Garth Brooks — WINNER
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

Single of the Year
“Better Man,” Little Big Town
“Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Keith Urban — WINNER
“Body Like A Back Road,” Sam Hunt
“Dirt On My Boots,” Jon Pardi
“Tin Man,” Miranda Lambert

Album of the Year
The Breaker, Little Big Town
From A Room: Volume 1, Chris Stapleton — WINNER
Heart Break, Lady Antebellum
The Nashville Sound, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
The Weight of These Wings, Miranda Lambert

Song of the Year
“Better Man,” Little Big Town — WINNER
“Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Keith Urban
“Body Like A Back Road,” Sam Hunt
“Dirt On My Boots,” Jon Pardi
“Tin Man,” Miranda Lambert

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town — WINNER
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts
Zac Brown Band

Musical Event of the Year
“Craving You,” Thomas Rhett feat. Maren Morris
“Funny How Time Slips Away,” Glen Campbell with Willie Nelson — WINNER
“Kill A Word,” Eric Church feat. Rhiannon Giddens
“Setting the World on Fire,” Kenny Chesney feat. Pink
“Speak to a Girl,” Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

Musician of the Year
Jerry Douglas (Dobro)
Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)
Dann Huff (Guitar)
Mac McAnally (Guitar) — WINNER
Derek Wells (Guitar)

Miscellaneous Observations

Overall, I noticed that the show kept things moving along. The performances were short and sweet, the acceptance awards were without fanfare, and the cameras didn’t spend an excessive amount of time spanning the audience.

What became very apparent to me, while watching the award show and all of the associated commercials, is that country music isn’t just a genre of music…it’s a full-fledged lifestyle. The style of dress for men and women is a different take on the glamour in most Hollywood based events. The Cowboy hat is a staple and I noticed a consistent theme of tans with almost platinum blonde hair. You will find pick-up trucks in every commercial. And lastly, Walmart sponsorship was front and center.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the award show. It just didn’t keep my attention. Did you watch? Favorite performance? Most deserved or least deserved win? Who got snubbed?


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