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From Music City to Wine Country – The 44th Annual CMA Awards

Nashville, TN – Billed as “Country’s Biggest Night,” the 44th Annual CMA Awards truly lived up to expectations. In addition to winning the Wednesday night ratings battle for ABC-TV, this year’s awards showcased the best of the up & coming talent vying for superstar status. And Country’s hot young talent did not disappoint.

Miranda Lambert came into the evening with a record nine nominations, and managed to beat out formidable competition for Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year honors, as well as Song of the Year for “The House That Built Me.” Her video also took the Video of the Year trophy. Miranda’s fiancée Blake Shelton won his first-ever Male Vocalist of the Year, as well as Vocal Event of the Year (along with Trace Adkins) for “Hillybilly Bone.” Blake and Miranda have now been named Country’s new “it” couple.

Blake Shelton with Warner Music Nashville's Rick Young. (Photo courtesy of Rick Young)

Brad Paisley, who hosted the show along with Carrie Underwood, won his first Entertainer of the Year award after six nominations. Sugarland won Vocal Duo of Year, while Lady Antebellum took home both the Vocal Group of Year and Single of the Year honors for “I Need You Now.” Georgia sensations The Zac Brown Band won New Artist of the Year after an incredible run of five number one singles from their debut album.

Some Nashville insiders were surprised that Taylor Swift was shut out, but Taylor had everyone buzzing with the news that her third album “Speak Now” had just debuted with over a million copies sold in its first week. This is the first time a Country album has achieved this since Garth Brooks in 1998.

This year’s performances were also a topic of discussion, because every one was really terrific (not always the case on awards shows). The show opened with Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban tearing it up, and they set the bar high. One of the other standout performances was an unexpected duet with Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson. Only George Strait and Reba represented what might be termed Country’s “old guard.” All in all, this CMA Awards show validated the feeling that 2010 is truly a “pivotal” year for Country music! Check out more CMA Awards highlights and photos here.

Rick Young
Regional Manager of Promotion-West
Warner Music Nashville

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