Thursday, November 11

CMA queen Miranda Lambert, a touch of crude and a bunch of talent

Miranda Lambert
Country’s new royal couple shook up the 44th Country Music
Awards show in Nashville November 10. Brad Paisley and 
Carrie Underwood hosted with Paisley winning the top award
as Entertainer of the Year.  Otherwise the spotlight kept fleeting
back to Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.  Up for a
record-breaking 9 awards—the most ever for any female 
country artist, Miranda pulled in three trophies and performed on stage twice.

Miranda celebrated her first ever Female Vocalist of the Year award on her 27th birthday. She was ecstatic for future husband Blake Shelton’s first ever Male Vocalist of the Year award. He also won Musical Event the Year for his duet Hillbilly Bone with Trace Atkins.

Both spoke with emotion and sincerity in their acceptance speeches. Known for his redneck image and his reputation as a flirt, Blake’s voice cracked as he held back emotions. His words came from the heart—no written script or prepared speech. He was obviously shocked and pleased.

Miranda thanked one of her idols, country music legend, Loretta Lynn, for paving the way for women in country music. An inspiration to Miranda, the first female winner of the CMA Entertainer of the Year award, Loretta joined Miranda and Cheryl Crow in a rendition of Loretta’s hit, Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Miranda and Blake might be new to winning CMA awards but much of their music goes back to the old traditions of country music. Miranda’s unique style gives the Nashville sound a new edgy tone. In a backstage interview, Loretta Lynn commented, "Nobody in country music is more country than Miranda." Considering the source, Miranda Lambert’s future is lookin’ bright. Time to buy some heavy duty shades.

Considering the award nominations, great album sales, the popularity of the newly anointed couple and the fact they both have singles in the top ten, they could shake up the uptight country music industry for awhile. No more Nicole and Keith or Tim and Faith as Miranda and Blake take over with her edgy country rock meets bluegrass style and his versatile sexy deep voice that nails a heartfelt ballad as much as it rocks out an outlaw redneck drinking song. They are like fairy tale characters only they party and drink a bit.

Of course there were other notable moments besides all the love for the Lambert/Shelton combo.

*Who dressed these people?

Carrie Underwood’s Mama’s Song was heartfelt but the gown she wore a gown with a split personality. Difficult to describe, a satiny purplish train-like object seemed to flow on the floor on one side of the dress while the other side of the dress sparkled like a bedazzled purple nylon netting bunched up for more volume. It must have been big big bucks but it could have been a 1980s prom/bridesmaid gown found at a nearby Goodwill Store.

A few of her wardrobe choices didn’t seem to suite her. Yuckers on the poofy skirt ensemble with the little red Christmas bows stuck on the bodice with heavy rope-like gold brocade snaking up and over her shoulders. Did they run out of fabric and resort to gift wrap aisle? A couple outfits were random bizarre like a blend between punk-college-girl and let’s-go-to-the-polo-field type outfits. The long dress with the orangish gaudy yellow streaks looked like some type of chiffon fabric tie-dyed in mustard—Grey Poupon probably.

Speaking of clothes, what was that stiff fabric Jennifer Nettles attempted to pass off as a dress? It reeked of flashbacks to last season’s American Idol quirky fashionista wanna be Siobahn Magnus with her combo of tutu and combat boots. What was that?

*Awkward meltdown

Brad Paisley’s acceptance speech at the end of the program was almost awkward due to his inability to talk trying to hold back tears. Just cry already! He spoke of his family’s influence and his late grandfather and the loyalty of country music fans. For a veteran on the awards circuit on the inside of the network, he seemed passionate and unrehearsed.

*Awesome duets

Best New Artist winner, Zach Brown Band and Alan Jackson! Sweet. Very natural unassuming and true talent. (Prediction: Zach Brown Band could be the biggest deal yet. The new CD is unbelievable with at least another 4-5 top ten hits. Why, why, why must he wear the beanie?)

Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson! Who thought of this duo? Risky business but they cashed in big time. ChaChing! Brilliant. Jason Aldean is way underrated.

Cheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert? Hmmm. Cheryl tried to impersonate Loretta Lynn at times but when she just sang it sounded good. Miranda, on the other hand, brilliant. That heavy southern twang melted into the classic Coal Miner’s Daughter. It was easy to picture Miranda in that role. Cheryl? Not so much.

*Other notable performances

Reba McIntire rocked it out on If I Were a Boy. Keith Urban is always a keeper. Dierks Bentley got into the bluegrass sound. Vocal Group of the Year, Lady Antebellum, were harmoniously excellent as usual plus they took the award for Single of the Year with Need You Now, (aka the most overplayed song on the radio). Gwyneth Paltrow pulled it off with the help of Vince Gill. Taylor Swift sang live plus on key. Blake Shelton sparkled with obvious joy on stage. He is a charmer and a natural. Miranda Lambert kicked it like she always does, too bad it wasn’t a different song. Kid Rock got the party started. Kenny Chesney? Meh. George Strait? Double meh.

Come to think of it all the performances were decent. What’s the bottom line on the 44th Annual County Music Association Awards Show 2010 in Nashville, TN held at Bridgestone Arena? Stupendous! Overall, it turned out to be one of the best CMA award shows yet. The mix of new blood and solid performances proved to be entertaining and made it fun to watch. Cheers for country music!

Here is a list of the big awards. Check the CMT website for other winners.

Entertainer of the Year: Brad Paisley

Album of the Year: "Revolution," Miranda Lambert

Music Video of the Year: "The House That Built Me," Miranda Lambert

Song of the Year: "The House That Built Me," Tom Doughas, Allen Shamblin (Miranda Lambert)

Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton

Single of the Year: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum

Vocal Group of the Year: Lady Antebellum

New Artist of the Year: Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year: Sugarland

Musical Event of the Year: "Hillbilly Bone," Blake Shelton (featuring Trace Adkins)

Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally

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