Wednesday, November 14 was the 52nd annual CMAs. There, Kacey Musgraves’ important win of the night is kind of a big deal but we’ll get to that in a second. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley hosted again this year and of course, they didn’t disappoint.
When Carrie was pregnant at the 2014 CMAs, Brad revealed the sex of her firstborn with #BradBlewIt. And he did it again this year when listing off country duos like Johnny and June or Tim and Faith. He finally asked if it was Waylon or Willie and she admitted it was a Willie – she’s having another boy! Of course, Brad couldn’t let the show go by without lightly joking about Carrie’s fall just days after the CMAs last year when he had a bubble wrap dress brought out to her. An award show is never dull when these two have the spotlight.
There were a few things this year that were shocking – in good and bad ways – Chris Stapleton won a lot, but even though he is talented things he won for were not from this year. There was a lack of female nominees, Miranda Lambert surprisingly did not win anything when she usually cleans up. Kacey Musgraves was the underdog of the night. And Keith Urban had an amazing and well-deserved big win at the end of the night.
Kacey Musgraves’ Important Win
Kacey is the first woman in four years to take home Album of the Year. This is a HUGE deal for a multitude of reasons. Like most women in country music, Kacey gets little to no air time for her songs on country radio. Along with Kacey, Maren Morris has also spoken out about the lack of women being played on country radio.
“UGH. I had a program director tell me 2 years ago ‘Don’t release I Could Use A Love Song as a single. People don’t want to hear sad women..’ It was my first #1 a year later. If you don’t give us the chance to be heard, potential fans will NEVER hear us. Enough ‘women don’t want to hear other women,’ or ‘women don’t test well with ballads,’ or ‘singles from new women artists aren’t reacting.’ It is BS. Look at @RaeLynn , look at @CassadeePope , look at @lindsayell . Women that kick ass, write & play, & deserve power rotation,” Morris wrote in a couple solid tweets. – Sounds Like Nashville
If you sit and listen to just an hour of country radio, it’s basically all men with the possibility of a woman artist being played. But what I’ve noticed when they do play women on the radio is that it’s primarily old-school Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, and Miranda Lambert. Now, don’t get me wrong I am in love with those artists, but people like Kacey, Lindsay Ell, Carly Pearce, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, and so many more amazing, emerging women artists have outstanding music out right now. Of that hardly get any airtime at all, let alone any. Country radio has become Luke Combs radio and keeping the same few male songs in rotation. It’s getting old and we’re getting angry.
Kacey Musgraves’ Important Win
You’re probably still wondering why Kacey’s win is a big deal – besides her being the first woman to win the award in four years. Despite country radio hardly playing her music, she still won. She had all the odds stacked against her, and she still won. And she was the only female in the category, and she still won. She was up against Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett, Dierks Bentley, and Keith Urban – some absolutely phenomenal artists that get plenty of airtime – and she still won!
Golden Hour is one of my favorite albums for 2018. It was a little less traditional in terms of country sounds compared to “Same Trailer, Different Park” and “Pageant Material”, but the album was a masterpiece nonetheless. This was not only a win for Kacey but a win for all women in country music. Hopefully, a step in the right direction for country music to do their ladies better.
Music Video of the Year: Thomas Rhett’s “Marry Me”
Musical Event of the Year: David Lee Murphy and Kenny Chesney’s “Everythings Gonna Be Alright”
Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally
Song of the Year: Chris Stapleton’s “Broken Halos” (Great song, but it was released in 2017 so I felt this one was a little unfair)
New Artist of the Year: Luke Combs
Single of the Year: Chris Stapleton’s “Broken Halos” (Same feelings as Song of the Year)
Vocal Group of the Year: Old Dominion
Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour
Vocal Duo of the Year: Brothers Osborne
Male Vocalist of the Year: Chris Stapleton
Female Vocalist of the Year: Carrie Underwood
Entertainer of the Year: Keith Urban (long-awaited and much deserved!)
Despite the glaringly obvious lack of women up for Entertainer of the Year, I’m so happy and proud that Keith Urban won. Not only is he very talented and a harder worker, but he sticks up for the women. He takes them out on the road with him and champions their music online. Hopefully, there will be some women nominees next year, but if anyone had to win I’m glad that it is Keith.
My Favorite Performances
These were some of the performances of the night that stood out to me:
- Kelsea Ballerini’s “Miss Me More”
- Carrie Underwood’s “Love Wins”
- Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne “Burning Man”
- Thomas Rhett’s “Life Changes”
- Dan & Shay’s “Tequila”
- Old Dominion’s “Hotel Key”
- Brett Young’s “Mercy”
- Garth Brooks’ “Stronger Than Me” (He debuted this song for the first time to his wife, Trisha Yearwood, who hadn’t even heard it yet. It was beautiful and I did cry)
- Pistol Annies’ “Got My Name Changed Back”
- Brad Paisley’s “Bucked Off”
- Kacey Musgraves’ “Slow Burn”
My Favorite Outfits
The red carpet was absolutely phenomenal and everyone looked so beautiful. I’m not a fan of the “best and worst dressed” lists. Why do we have to slam artists for what we think doesn’t look good? It’s all subjective and hurtful. I wanted to share a few of my personal favorites instead!
Despite the lack of women representation this year, I did enjoy the show. There is something about country music that is so electrifying and inspiring to me. I know this sort of recap is a bit different than what I do – I typically just stick to my Bachelor recaps – but I want to start incorporating more of my other interests. And one of those driving passions is writing about country music!