The Times' Randy Lewis recapped the Country Music Assn. Awards for the new Envelope blog Awards Tracker. An excerpt is below.
Texas country music firebrand Miranda Lambert won big at the 44th Country Music Assn. Awards ceremony on Wednesday in Nashville, taking home trophies for best album, top female vocalist and video in connection with her album “Revolution.” Brad Paisley took the night’s top award as entertainer of the year, and Lady Antebellum’s chart-topping hit “Need You Now” was named the year’s best single.
The entertainer award to Paisley recognizes a combination of live performance, recorded music and ambassadorship for country music. “My hero is Little Jimmy Dickens,” Paisley said, mimicking the broken voice of the Grand Ole Opry veteran, “and he has a saying: ‘If you see a turtle on a fencepost, it had help getting up there.' I feel like a turtle on a fencepost at this point.”
Lambert, whose awards came on the day she turned 27, said, “‘Revolution’ has truly caused a revolution in my life this year.... It’s my baby; it’s what I live for. Thank you so much for loving it too.” “The House That Built Me,” a Tom Douglas-Allen Shamblin composition that Lambert sang on the album, was named song and video of the year.
Blake Shelton, Lambert’s fiancé, took two awards, including male vocalist in what may have been the evening’s biggest surprise, trumping George Strait, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley. Sugarland took the vocal duo trophy.
Atlanta’s party-minded jam group the Zac Brown Band was named new artist of the year, and the Georgia-based trio Lady Antebellum also collected vocal group honors on a show that sought to pump up its celebrity quotient, and ratings, by showcasing actress Gwyneth Paltrow in her public debut as a country singer.
Paltrow, awkwardly strumming an acoustic guitar and joined by Vince Gill, sang the title song from her forthcoming film, “Country Strong,” for which Nashville pros helped guide her through a crash course in country music to prepare for her role, and to do her own singing, in the tale of a fallen country star who tries to overcome a personal tragedy and an alcohol abuse problem to regain her career.
Read more on Awards Tracker.
-- Randy Lewis
Photo: Brad Paisley / Associated Press