ACM Awards confirm 2010 date
Will the Taylor Swift reign continue into 2010? One won't have to wait long to find out, with the Grammy Awards on the horizon for Jan. 31 and the Academy of Country Music Awards now set for April 18. The gala will once again be broadcast live from Las Vegas, and tape-delayed for those of us on the West Coast. Country royalty Reba McEntire will host for the 12th time.
The 2009 ACM Awards deviated slightly from the Country Music Television Awards and the Country Music Assn. Awards, giving the entertainer of the year award to Carrie Underwood rather than Swift. The ACM Awards named Julianne Hough, another reality TV-contestant-gone-Nashville, as best new artist.
Country was dominated by women in 2009. Swift and Underwood were among the year's top-selling artists, with Swift selling 4.6 million copies of her combined albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the year's second-best selling artist behind Michael Jackson. Underwood finished at No. 9, and racked up 1.9 million in sales.
Some of the most compelling ACM drama has happened off-stage in recent years. In 2009, Toby Keith had a beef with a reporter, and in 2008, Kenny Chesney expressed dismay over the decision to turn entertainer of the year into a fan-voted contest.
On April 19, the Academy of Country Music will film a special honoring Brooks & Dunn, who are on their farewell tour this year. Artists who will be performing at the tribute likely give a good indication of who will appear at the awards; thus far, the roster includes McEntire, Underwood, Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban.
In a change for 2010, the ACM Awards will widen the entertainer of the year field to eight contestants, up from five. The ACM Awards are produced by Dick Clark Productions, and air live on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.
-- Todd Martens