Thursday, April 9, 2009

Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift take top honors at the 2009 ACM Awards.

As I sit here a couple days later reading about the price increases on MP3’s at iTunes, Amazon, Walmart and just about everywhere else with some MP3’s 99 cents to $1.29, a 30% increase which will hurt some artists, fans will think twice before buying, personally I buy CD’s and digital downloads and only have just so much money, once it’s gone, that’s it…

…I began to think about the Academy of Country Music Awards this past weekend, of course I watched the ACM Awards on Monday evening when I had the opportunity too I have to say for not only this country music fan, but Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift fan, it was a night to remember in so many ways.

Every year I look forward to watching both the ACM’s and the CMT music awards on television, of course the ACM’s has a great host too, Reba McEntire. Both awards shows offer a good selection of awards that honor the music videos, songs, groups, duo, female and male artists and best of the best, but the awards shows also offer some of the best artists performing one of their hit songs live on stage and for most of these artists, they pull out all of the stops.

Last year I wrote about the ACM’s and the headline read “Taylor Swift does it again with her performance of “Should’ve Said No” at the 2008 ACM Awards.”, now for 2009, the performance where just as incredible from several different artist coming out and singing during the kick off with Brook & Dunn which was a little different to hearing Sugarland on the lower stage. The performances even included a Lady Antebellum and John Rich on the lower stage. I take it that John Rich doesn’t care for the auto ballout plan, (his Detroit song "Shuttin' Detroit Down," gave it away).

However two performances got me attention, both in unique ways, first was Carrie Underwood singing “I Told You So” on stage in a beautiful red dress (the photo on the right was taken by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) that I think even Reba would have loved to be wearing. Right now on television, Carrie Underwood has a music video out of her singing that very song “I Told You So” on stage at the Grand Ole Opry. The reason I bring this up is she closes her eyes during the song a couple of times and in the video, she does that and when she opens her eyes in one of the takes, she reminds me when her eyes opens of a butterfly spreading its wings, I don’t why it made me think of that, it’s just a beautiful performance.

The second one was centered around Taylor Swift. The introduction was even unique, personally I have never watched a David Copperfield special in my life (I know), so seeing him introduce her using magic was a different experience. David brought Taylor down from the roof in a cage and had her appear, from their Taylor sang “You’re Not Sorry” on a piano with her band, very interesting performance that as long as I can remember seeing her perform on stage is a first, I liked it, she even hit a few high notes and song was good.

But she was surprised when Reba called her over to give her an ACM Crystal Milestone award to recognize that she's sold more albums than any other artist this year and has helped country music attract a younger audience.

One thing I want to mention, I only started listening to country music again in 2005 (I believe) when my father had a Carrie Underwood “Some Hearts” CD and I decided to listen to it and not too long after that, I bought a Taylor Swift self-titled CD and loved both of them. Carrie and Taylor are my favorite artists, they are the ones I listen to the most and the reason why I listen to country music in the first place, so I loved hearing that Taylor Swift received that ACM award, she deserves it and yes, the day her Fearless CD came out, I bought it at Walmart (Walmart is the closet), so Taylor Swift winning ACM Album of the Year is cool too and well deserved.

When it came to the awards, most were not a surprise at all, Brad Paisley winning Top Male Vocalist, Video of the Year and VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR with Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood winning Top Female Vocalist, Sugarland for Top Vocal Duo and Rascal Flatts for Top Vocal Group (there the best in those categories, that’s why they win). I wasn’t really surprised, but so happy to see Julianne Hough (after winning Top New Female Vocalist) win Top New Artist, she’s the best in that category, her CD is good.

However the surprise of the night had to be seeing Carrie Underwood win the fan voted Entertainer of the Year Award, she is the first female to do it since the Dixie Chicks in 2000, what a great choice. Everyone needs to remember when it comes to the Entertainer of the Year Award, the fans are the ones going to concerts, buying tickets, CD’s and just about everything else for these favorite artists, so having the fans vote on it is perfect.

One note, what an interesting acceptance speech by Carrie Underwood, she was completely shocked, she said she even blacked out once her name was called, but Carrie, no apology needed for the Matthew McConaughey joke, I thought that the joke was funny, can’t wait to see what she does next.