Country Music Celebrates: CMT Awards and The CMA Music Festival

June is the month the Nashville celebrates country music. As I write this thousands of country music fans and stars have descended on Nashville for the CMA Music Festival (still often referred to as Fan Fair), and on Wednesday Nashville hosted the annual CMT awards. I have dreamt of attending Fan Fair since I was about 10 years old, It was a mythical weekend (always on my birthday weekend too), of all my very favourite stars coming together to meet, greet and perform for fans, it is the perfect example of country music as a family. Today, I’m going to Focus on our winners of the CMT awards, most of whom have performed in some capacity this weekend.

The CMT Awards tend to be a more casual affair than other major country awards, such as the ACM awards, or the CMA’s, and the music celebrated tends to be more slightly more mainstream, favouring artists at the very top of their game, and at the very top of the charts. It is partly fan voted, and based on the video charts, as opposed to country airplay or record sales. This year our winners were a little predictable, but that is no criticism. Our winners this year have all had an incredibly strong year professionally.

CMT Performance of the Year:

Miranda Lambert: Over You (from 2012 CMT ‘Artists of the Year’)

I’m not surprised at how well this song has done at award shows. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert wrote this song together, and the emotion behind Lambert’s performance is sincere. It’s hard to listen to the song without bringing a tear to your eye, I was unable to find a video of the performance that won Lambert this award, but this version, from a recent episode of the Voice displays perfectly why this song won performance of the year. I’ve already reviewed this song in the past, so check it out here.

Breakthrough Video of the Year
Duo Video of the Year

Florida Georgia Line Cruise

This was a shoe in for the breakthrough video of the year. The devastatingly catchy Cruise was by far the biggest hit out of all the nominees. It was not my favourite of the nominees, I would have loved to see Kasey Musgraves win, but maybe next year. This song does not have much substance, no real story, and not much musical variation. but it is catchy, and has done well in the charts, so this win was to be expected.

Collaborative Video of the Year

Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church ‘The Only Way I Know’ from 2012 CMA Awards

This collaboration of country music’s hottest new superstars. At the moment, these men are dominating the country charts. They have risen through the ranks of country music over the past few years, and this award adds to the recognition that they deserve.

Female Video of the Year

Miranda Lambert Mama’s Broken Heart

Country music seems to be very male dominated at the moment, but I’m hoping that with the help of artists such as Miranda Lambert, our Queens of country may rise again. This song, and video, work well for Lambert’s personality, the video is over the top, and funny and is the perfectly exemplifies the very best of this category. Read more about this track here.

Group Video of the Year

Lady Antebellum Downtown

Lady Antebellum have become a hit making machine. They consistently create pop-country tracks of a very high standard, showing our newcomers how its done. The single and video are fun, and have a great energy, whilst still retaining the quality that we have come to expect from this band. It is a well deserved win.

Male Video of the Year

Blake Shelton Sure be Cool if You Did

I’m glad this song won, it was one of the most ‘country’ out of all the nominees. It’s a lovely song, and Blake Shelton’s delivery is gentle and genuine. I think it was the simple honesty of this song that led to its success. I don’t think the fact that he is married to the much loved Miranda Lambert hindered its success either.

Video of the Year

Carrie Underwood Blown Away

This was bound to be a winner. The song has a clever storyline that is mirrored by the video. The song is dark and dramatic, its theatrical atmosphere lends itself to the music video format. The imagery of the yellow brick road brings a sense of hope that isn’t as apparent in the song alone. I think this video genuinely deserved this award, I’m not a huge Carrie Underwood fan, but this combination of song and video is what the CMT awards is all about. It’s not just the song in these awards, and Randee St. Nicholas, the video’s director, has got this one right.

I also have to mention my favourite performance of the night. On leaving the CMT awards fans were greeted by Ronnie Dunn, singing on a Nashville Rooftop, complete with a flash mob to introduce his new single to fans. It was a brilliant ‘Welcome to Nashville’ for those in town for the CMT awards and The CMA music fest.

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