Guest Author - Kathy Lyngholm
The 41st Annual CMA Awards, billed as the biggest night for country music, has come and gone. There were some surprises and some not so surprising winners.
James Denton was the first host of the evening coming out to introduce the first performers of the night, Rascal Flatts singing “Still Feels Good”. Sheryl Crow came out to present the first award of the night for Single of the Year. Not surprisingly Carrie Underwood took this award for Before He Cheats. George Strait then took the stage to sing “Cowgirls”.
The Song of the Year award was presented by Montgomery Gentry to George Strait and the writers for Give It Away. Taylor Swift came out to sing her latest release Our Song and though she seemed a tad bit nervous did pretty well.
Sara Evans was the next host of the awards show and her first introduction was for Brad Paisley who sang his latest release Online accompanied by the Brentwood, TN marching band. Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift both came out to dance around Brad as he sang about being 6’3” online.
Sara then introduced Alison Krauss to sing Simple Love by saying that she had received her nominations the old fashioned way, she earned them. (I’m not too sure if that was a dig at Carrie Underwood or not, there has been some talk of the comment today on the internet boards about the comment.) The next performers were Big & Rich singing Loud and as the song started John Rich dedicated it to the late Porter Wagoner. Jason Michael Carroll, Bucky Covington and Luke Bryan to present the Vocal Group of the Year award to Rascal Flatts. Rodney Atkins came out to sing These are My People.
Kate Walsh, the third host of the evening, came out to introduce Carrie Underwood singing So Small. Vince Gill made an appearance to introduce The Eagles singing How Long. Brooks & Dunn came out to sing their latest release God Must Be Busy. Jason Aldean sang his latest hit Johnny Cash. Blake Shelton, Jewel and Ty Murray came out to present the award for Vocal Duo of the Year to Sugarland, they broke the strangle hold Brooks & Dunn had on the award for the last 8 years.
Dwight Yoakum came out to introduce Sugarland singing Stay. Dwight Yoakum spoke about Porter Wagoner. Dwight then presented the Album of the Year award to George strait for “It Just comes Natural”. It was announced that Music Video of the Year went to Brad Paisley for Online.
LeAnn Rimes, the next host of the evening came out and said “I’ve been in this business 13 years, 1 marriage, no arrests, but hey I still have 5 years left in my 20’s”, came out to introduce Martina McBride singing Times in Which We Live. Keith Urban came out to sing Everybody Needs Somebody. Carrie Underwood came out to present the Horizon Award to Taylor Swift, who was so overwhelmed she stated this was the highlight of her senior year thru her tears and her parents watching.
LeAnn then introduced Reba and they sang When You Love Someone Like That the duet they recorded together. Little Big Town came out to sing Boondocks. Dierks Bentley came out to present the Female Vocalist of the Year award to Carrie Underwood. LeAnn then talked about the 3 inductions into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ralph Emory, Mel Tillis and Vince Gill, these awards had been presented earlier before the broadcast.
Kimberly Williams-Paisley came out to introduce Kenny Chesney singing Blink.
Josh Turner came out to sing Firecracker. Kellie Pickler came out to sing I Wonder, the emotionally charged song she wrote about her mom abandoning her when she was a child, whether it was the emotion of the song or singing it on the CMA’s Kellie had a hard time finishing the song. Gretchen Wilson and Kid Rock came out to present the Male Vocalist of the Year to Brad Paisley, who thanked all the normal people and “his wife because she was standing just over there”. Rascal Flatts and Jaime Foxx came out and sang Every Move She Makes.
Musical Event of the Year went to Tracy Lawrence with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw for Find Out Who Your Friends Are, it was presented before broadcast. The final award of the evening, Entertainer of the Year, was presented by Reba McEntire to Kenny Chesney.
Official list of winners:
Entertainer of the Year
Kenny Chesney (2006 winner)
Male Vocalist of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
Carrie Underwood (2006 winner)
Vocal Group of the Year
Rascal Flatts (2006 winner)
Vocal Duo of the Year
Single of the Year
Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
Song of the Year
Give It Away
Album of the Year
It Just Comes Natural – George Strait
Musical Event of the Year
Find Out Who Your Friends Are - Tracy Lawrence w/Tim McGraw & Kenny
Music Video of the Year
Online - Brad Paisley