Awards Show Coverage
The CMA Awards Blog
The 45th Annual CMA Awards kicks off with a country standard - "Footloose." This ain't your Daddy's CMAs, but luckily Blake Shelton gives the song a good ole country twist complete with go-go dancers and industrial scaffolding. Look, it's Kenny Loggins joining in...
We get the first of what will prove to be many costume changes from Carrie Underwood. She kind of looks like she's wrapped up in a really pretty napkin.
Brad Paisley, also known as Rockin' Bradcephous, launches into the inevitable Hank Williams Jr. musical parody. This is gonna be fun... and just when you think it can't get any better, Hank Jr. himself shows up. Brad: "He's right behind me, isn't he?"
Brad and Carrie exchange gifts - Tim and Faith Barbies! Brad is oh-so-excited!
All in all, a pretty hilarious start to the show. No wonder they're hosting again.
The first televised award of the night goes to The Band Perry for "If I Die Young" which claims Single of the Year. Well deserved. That song broke their career wide open this year.
Carrie Dress Change #2: A sparkly, little number. Nice.
Keith Urban continues his "Get Closer" theme as he get performs "You're Gonna Fly with Me" in the crowd.
Sara Evans takes the stage for "A Little Bit Stronger." Always great to see her sing.
Carrie Dress Change #3 occurs. This time, she looks like she's wrapped in a pink shower curtain. What is going on tonight with her fashion?
Miranda Lambert gets sassy with "Baggage Claim." Holy fringe! Why is there always fire with her?
The Band Perry scores again with "If I Die Young" by winning Song of the Year.
Zac Brown Band pays tribute to their home state of Georgia with their rendition of "Georgia On My Mind." This is nice and chill. I'm loving it!
Rascal Flatts perform "Easy" with pop singer Natasha Bedingfield. Whose vocal aerobics will reign supreme? Too close to call.
Vocal Duo of the Year goes to...Brooks & Dunn...wait, it's Sugarland. I admit it's gonna take me a while to get used to the fact B&D have went their separate ways. Yes, it's been a year, but man, they were perennial winners in this category for so long.
Brad breaks out the velvet camo. All I can say is...wow.
Some of the Best New Artist nominees get their chance to perform in this segment. Eric Church rocks it in reflective shades with "Drink In My Hand." Those sunglasses remind me of the sheriff in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Thompson Square performs their chart-topping hit "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not?" Wait, is that Shawna Thompson or Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town? Her change in hair color threw me for a moment. Awww....they kissed at the end. True love.
Chris Young sings his #1 hit "Voices." He, along with Eric, being called "new artists" is kind of a stretch at this point.
I guess we'll get to see the other two nominees - Luke Bryan and The Band Perry - later in the show.
Taylor Swift is wearing a pink sweater for her performance. Yes, a pink sweater. What the hell is up with that? Mark this as our first lackluster performance of the night.
Carrie Dress Change #4: Fedora with a pants suit.
The go-go dancers are back for Luke Bryan's "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)."
Miss Piggy hijacks Carrie's co-hosting gig as Carrie rushes out onto the stage and premieres Dress Change #5, also known as my favorite dress of the night.
Lady Antebellum performs their single "We Owned The Night" with a bunch of random people on stage. Who are all these folks? Whoever they are...they're owning the night.
Hey, Erin Andrews! She's pretty cool.
Time for one of the big awards of the night - Album of the Year. Hmmm...who will it be?
OMG! Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party brings it home! He is so pumped...huge smile on his face. This just may be his night after being overlooked for far too long.
The CMAs get chill again with Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter's "You And Tequila." I'm loving the flow of the show - high energy songs followed by chilled out tunes.
It's "Little Justin Bieber!" Haha... Little Jimmy Dickens is hilarious. Oh, there's Carrie Dress Change #6.
We get a little sneak peek at Lionel Richie's country duets album as he sings with Little Big Town, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts. Lionel is one smooth dude. This medley makes me (and apparently Blake Shelton who was singing along) excited for the album coming out.
The Band Perry sing "All Your Life." They keep with the theme of the music video for their CMA performance...although, I don't think red sequin dresses like the one Kimberly is wearing existed during the setting of the video.
Vocal Group of the Year goes to... Lady Antebellum. Not entirely shocking.
Sugarland teams up with Matt Nathanson for their performance. It's pretty intense and passionate. I see Jennifer Nettles, who's looking pretty hot. Kristian Bush, where are you? He seems to be M.I.A. Oh wait, there he is playing the guitar in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment.
Brad and Carrie perform their chart-topping duet "Remind Me"...and Carrie has Dress Change #7, a beautiful black and white number. This is phenomenal. I admit I've been looking forward to this performance since they announced they were going to do it. I'm thankful that it's living up to the hype I gave it in my mind.
Who is the future of country music? Why are they showing Steel Magnolia as one of the nominees instead of Thompson Square? Camera man epic fail.
The Band Perry earns the Best New Artist prize...as with the Lady A win, this is not entirely surprising considering they've already won two awards, but any of those folks nominated is deserving of that award. It's nice to see that the future of the genre is promising.
Scotty McCreery checks in with a performance of "Walk In The Country" from his debut album Clear As Day.
Album of the Year winner Jason Aldean sings "Tattoos On This Town." I'm sensing this night is only gonna get better for him.
It's the hometown girl Reese Witherspoon presenting Male Vocalist of the Year. Blake Shelton makes it two in a row as he takes home the trophy for the second consecutive year.
It's Carrie Dress Change #8 as she intros Martina McBride's performance of "I'm Gonna Love You Through It."
Vintage CMA Award video featuring Eddy Arnold awarding Glen Campbell the Entertainer of the Year prize. I love historical footage. The CMA needs to incorporate more of that. I miss how they used to do a big segment saluting the year's Hall of Fame inductees. Those parts of the show were part of the foundation of my love for country music... If you're curious, this year's Hall of Fame class included Reba McEntire, Jean Shepard and Bobby Braddock.
I digress...Vince Gill, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley pay tribute Glen with a soulful versions of "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston." So classy...and so far, the best moment of the night.
Here is Faith Hill's much-heralded return to country with her new song "Coming Home." Gosh, it's good to see her back in business. She's been missed.
It's Female Vocalist of the Year time! Miranda Lambert took this home last year...and this year too. Aww...Mr. and Mrs. reigning Male and Female Vocalists!
Carrie Dress Change #9. That sure is a low cut dress.
It wouldn't be an awards show without an appearance by Reba. It just wouldn't be complete for me.
Entertainer of the Year goes to...Taylor Swift! Wow...she's only the second female to win two Entertainer trophies in the history of the CMA Awards. The other? Barbara Mandrell.
That's it until next year, folks!
Images: Frederick Breedon IV/FilmMagic, Jason Kempin/WireImage; Katherine Bomboy/ABC via Getty Images; Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Nikita Palmer (@RTNowRadio) for Right Now Radio © 2011