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Carrie & Faith - The Politics of Country Music

The CMAs have come and gone and there is another controversy brewing. It started when Carrie Underwood won the Female Vocalist of the Year award and Faith Hill had a “reaction”. It has also gone on to encompass Keith Urban.

How are the awards voted? Could it be block voting as some fans think and swear that’s why Keith won Entertainer of the Year without really touring or putting out a new CD? Or is it that the voters are picking their favorites without taking into consideration the sales of CDs or concert draws? If labels are block voting then what happens to their other artists that are having good years? Where do nominees come from? Some of the most popular artists thru time either are nominated very seldom or not at all. Toby Keith and Trace Adkins are good examples of this. Trace had a great year with his CD “Songs About Me” and great success with “Honkytonk Badankadonk” yet was not nominated at all in any category. Brooks & Dunn and Rascal Flatts seem to have a lock on the awards for Duo and Group of the Year awards, no matter how much success another artist or group has, they just can’t seem to top these guys. Look at Sugarland who have had great success this past year and couldn’t manage to get the award out of Rascal Flatts hands.

You don’t have to be with a label or country artist to become a member of the Country Music Association, there are different types of membership, you pay your dues and you are a member and can vote for the artists on the award shows.

The biggest problem right now as I see it is that the fans complaining are upset because Carrie is a new artist and they feel hasn’t been around long enough to prove herself as an artist and shouldn’t have won. It’s not even just the Faith Hill fans, it’s Martina McBride, Sara Evans and anyone else nominated whose fans are being very vocal about the win. Could it be because some of them feel because Carrie won American idol that she took a shortcut to the fame coming her way now? That raises another question that begs to be answered, do the “reality talent shows” do a disservice to artists? Out of the winners of the shows, only one so far has been able to maintain her success and not be dropped from her label, that is Kelly Clarkson. Buddy Jewell won “Nashville star” and has been dropped, Chris Young has just released his CD, so we have to wait and see how his career goes.



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