Country music's biggest night - 46th annual CMA awards

The annual CMA awards took place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville last night. The show was opened by Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Eric Church and featured some brilliant performances as well as some surprise wins and first time wins. The show was dedicated to those facing the devestation of Hurricane Sandy earlier this week.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood returned to host the awards with presenters Lisa Marie Presley (Single Of The Year), Jana Kramer and Jake Owen (Vocal Duo Of The Year), Kellie Pickler and Darius Rucker (Song Of The Year), Sugarland (Album Of The Year), The Band Perry (New Artist Of The Year), Shawn Johnson and Scotty McCreery (Vocal Group Of The Year), Martina McBride (Male Vocalist Of The Year), Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere and Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Female Vocalist Of The Year) and Reba and Tim Allen (Entertainer Of The Year).

Earlier in the day the awards for 'Musical Event Of The Year' and 'Music Video Of The Year' were presented. 'Musical Event Of The Year' went to Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw for their performance of Feel Like A Rockstar and 'Music Video Of The Year' went to Toby Keith's Red Solo Cup. Whilst Kenny and Tim's award was perhaps expected by many fans, in my opinion Toby Keith's win was certainly not expected. I had originally thought Little Big Town would win for their video of Pontoon but Red Solo Cup is a hilarious video and very catchy song all round!

Single Of The Year was the first award and it went to Little Big Town for their hit song Pontoon. I had originally said that Eric Church's Springsteen would win this award however Pontoon definitely deserved to win an award of it's own right. This was also Little Big Town's first ever CMA award after a thirteen year wait. The awards continued along with another unexpected win as Thompson Square recieved Vocal Duo Of The Year, ending Sugarland's reign. An emotional Shawna excepted the award as Keifer comforted her.

The next award was Song Of The Year which was presented to an emotional Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert for Over You. It is a lovely song and obviously meant a lot to both Blake and Miranda as you can see by their acceptence speech.

Album Of The Year was awarded to Eric Church for his album Chief. Whilst Eric was the top nominated artist, he has said he had no expectation of winning. The album includes hit song Springsteen and the award signals his acceptance within the country community. “I spent a lot of my career wondering where I fit in — too country, too rock,” Eric told the crowd. “I want to thank you guys for giving me somewhere to hang my hat tonight.” Hunter Hayes had a very good night with a win in the New Artist Of The Year category and his debut performance on the show.
One of the hardest categories of the night was Vocal Group Of The Year. With nominations to Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, The Band Perry and Zac Brown Band it was always going to be hard to pick but I'm happy Little Big Town walked away with the award. They have had a huge year and make this prestigious award only their second ever from the CMA awards. The band had previously said that Lady Antebellum would win the award and seemed shocked when their name was called but the award is definitely well deserved.
Blake Shelton took Male Vocalist Of The Year and Miranda Lambert took Female Vocalist Of The Year, marking the continuation of their wins in both categories. Both of whom have had good years however I thought Male Vocalist would go to Eric Church and Female Vocalist would go to Carrie Underwood.
The big award of the night - Entertainer Of The Year - had some very impressive nominations and in the final surprise of the night went to Blake Shelton. It is Blake's first win in the category and he beat stars such as Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley to the award. Miranda Lambert's win in Female Vocalist and Blake Shelton's win in Entertainer Of The Year meant that Taylor Swift was denied both her nominated awards, something that her fans were not happy about at all but I feel CMA were right to go with Blake and Miranda.
Throughout the night the awards were also interspersed with performances. Zac Brown Band, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and The Band Perry performed amongst others. There were also some interesting duets during the night - Kelly Clarkson dueted with Vince Gill on her new song Don't Rush and Keith Urban and Zac Brown dueted on Georgia Woods, both duets really showcasing the artists strengths. The night was rounded off with a brilliant Willie Nelson tribute from Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and including a rare duet from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Willie Nelson was also awarded a new award - the "Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award", I'm excited to see who else wins this award now.
All in all it was an amazing night with well deserved wins and great performances. I've always thought the CMA awards is one of the best award shows out there and always promises a good night.