2012 CMA AWARD WINNERS:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR: Blake Shelton
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR: Miranda Lambert
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR: Blake Shelton
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR: Little Big Town
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Hunter Hayes
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR: Thompson Square
SINGLE OF THE YEAR: “Pontoon” by Little Big Town
SONG OF THE YEAR: “Over You” by Miranda Lambert
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Chief by Eric Church
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR: “Feel Like a Rock Star” by Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR: “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR: Mac McAnally
INDUCTEES FOR THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME: Garth Brooks, Connie Smith and Hargus Robbins
Didn’t have time to check out the nominees? Check out Vox’s CMA Awards ballot — and drinking game, if you dare.
The 2012 Country Music Association Awards took place Thursday night, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who inexplicably decided to bring a little Gangnam Style to the show.
“What’s more country than South Korea?” asked Paisley. Hey, at least it was better than all his jokes about “motor boating,” based on a lyric in Little Big Town’s single, “Pontoon.”
The first hour or so of the awards show had a lot of references to Hurricane Sandy. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Eric Church started out the night with a tribute to New York and New Jersey.
If your weekend anthem has been “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith, you’ll be happy to learn it was voted Music Video of the Year.
Kellie Pickler and Darius Rucker presented the song of the year award, but it was hard to focus on the nominees while trying to figure out what was going on with Pickler’s hair. Are she and Miley just great friends? If you were distracted, too, the winner was “Over You” by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. Miranda cried through the whole acceptance speech, but it was still a major “awww” moment for country’s cutest couple.
And on the heels of that cute relationship came Taylor Swift singing about another failed one of hers (I’m assuming that’s what it was about). At a Parisian bistro with accordion in the background, apparently, because what’s more all-American country than that? The reigning performer of the year was channeling inspiration from her new album, Red, with bright crimson lipstick and red accents on her Jenny Packham gown.
Little Big Town took home single of the year for “Pontoon.” And performed it, clad a lot of leather for a song about a boat.
More awards were presented uneventfully until performances by Luke Bryan and Hunter Hayes. I’m pretty sure fangirls everywhere had to have their hearts restarted afterwards. And again, after he won New Artist of the Year.
Paisley unexpectedly took the stage with an acoustic version of “Empire State of Mind,” which morphed into “Southern Comfort Zone.” It was another tribute to New York and New Jersey hurricane victims. Coolest part: his guitar was painted with the New York skyline at sunset. And when he switched guitars, so was his shirt. Mad color-coordinating skills.
His co-host Carrie Underwood took center stage next with her recent single, “Blown Away.” She was also in her seventh outfit of the night and a huge cloud of fog — it was rather reminiscent of Halloween.
Next up, gymnast Shawn Johnson presented the award for Vocal Group of the Year. With repeated thanks of Jesus, the winner was Little Big Town and we got to hear “Pontoon” for roughly the billionth time in one night. When Paisley cut them off, he assured the crowd that whatever Little Big Town was going to say, it probably ended with Jesus.
Kenny Chesney performed next. Also, after two and a half hours of presenting awards, Carrie Underwood was on her ninth dress.
The trio of stars from ABC’s Nashville (can you say “promo”?) presented Female Vocalist of the Year, and no surprises, it went to Miranda Lambert. Miranda gave a very humble and teary speech. If you missed the connection, this means that she won Female Vocalist of the Year, her husband Blake Shelton won Male Vocalist of the Year, and the duo together won Song of the Year. Like I said, country’s cutest couple.
Next up, Lady Antebellum sang a tribute to Willie Nelson with “Always On My Mind.” The camera kept switching to Nelson in the audience, who continued to show exactly zero facial expression. The song morphed into the Patsy Cline hit, “Crazy,” which lead singer Hillary Scott absolutely nailed. Other vocalists participating in the Willie Nelson tribute included Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and … Willie Nelson? Hey, why not sing for yourself when you’re winning a Lifetime Achievement Award?
Finally, after hours of performances, the moment y’all were waiting for: could anyone oust the reigning champion, Taylor Swift, from her position as Entertainer of the Year? Of course Blake Shelton could. Thursday night was a great night to be Blake Shelton.
What do you think? Were you satisfied with the results? Did you correctly guess all the winners this year? Let us know in the comments below!