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Urban, Underwood, Stapleton, Musgraves Rating Key CMA Wins – Variety

If there is one thing that is usually sure of the Country Music Association Awards, it is that whoever wins…

If there is one thing that is usually sure of the Country Music Association Awards, it is that whoever wins the top prize, this year’s entertainer, will be someone who did not win another prize all night. It was this again this year, despite the uncertainty that it was upset for Keith Urban, who had not quit the competition since 2005. “I’m shocked by shocked,” said Urban and spoke for

Perhaps the only veteran Visibly surprised to make a CMA Awards recurring was co-host Carrie Underwood, who won for best female vocalist, after handing over that award to Miranda Lambert in seven of the previous eight years. “Thank you, God,” said a teary Underwood on telecast. Backstage later, she acknowledged: “I would let if I said that while I recorded this album (the recently released” Cry Pretty “) I would not have awards.” She referred to her very visible pregnancy by adding, “Hopefully, I can inspire my children and other working mothers.” For that we got this. “

Another surprise, for some (if only Chris Stapleton did not win it again) Kacey Musgraves was the first time to win in the year-class album for “Golden Hour”. The special category tends to be a “cred” magnet, and this was no exception, with critical acclaim and other media attention that far exceeded the radio game of an album that took Musgraves beyond any kind of country box. “I imagined this country musically where it was possible to keep those parts of the country inherent to my music, like pedal steel and banjo,” she said backstage “but I wanted to explore this new limit for myself with the type of electronic elements … I think this album has gone far beyond country music, but I wanted to give people who love country music too. “

Not surprising at all: the three trophies for Stapleton, most of them for the night. Although he had to abandon the album category that had been his on his freshman and sophomore efforts, he did more than win in divisions that had not been his former, with “Broken Halos” who won both singles and songs of years . In addition, for the fourth consecutive year he picked up the best male vocalist, a category like any other competitor should probably only forget for at least the next decade.

The best new artist went as expected to powerhouse singer Luke Combs, with strong competition from Midland and Old Dominion, bands that, as bands, may have interrupted each other. Combs has a good will as someone who built his own success in the streaming world before being retrieved by Sony Nashville – and, as he pointed out in the pressroom after his victory, he is not the only one. “I think guys like myself and Kane (Brown) and Dan + Shay and Brett Young are lucky to be part of a wave of artists who have started on their own and adopted by the Nashville system,” he said.

Combs’ comments raised a controversial topic – label member Kane Brown did not receive a single nomination; If he had, he would have been expected to be strong competition for Brown. Despite being closed by the nominations, Brown made other country stars under similar circumstances expected to perform and with all the joy he performed as a presenter. (He is not alone among huge sellers to be overlooked, superstar Jason Aldean became curiously forgotten by CMAs for several years before returning to the year’s entertainer.)

Brothers Osborne was not surprised at all by the duo category once more . “I do not know why we continue to win this. If this were in Florida it would definitely be a story,” said John Osborne in the pressroom. They repeatedly referred to an expected Dan + Shay upset that never happened, based on the second-hand duo’s superior sales statistics. “We work very hard and try to be respectful for all around us,” says TJ Osborne backstage. “Dan + Shay is the same, but they also have really big songs on the radio.” He said when he asked his brother if he had a speech of approval, “said John,” I do not know, but I congratulate Tweet to Dan + Shay on standby. John Osborne said that the only thing they were sure they would regret if they lost were the opportunity to come back and “miss our friends in the press.” The duo, who has been known to predict some non-conservative social and political views, then gathered the collective journalists in space: “Free Press! You’re not the enemy of the enemy! Use your voice and use it high.”

Garth Brooks, who had won the exhibitor of the year in the previous two years, debuted one New Ballad written for her wife, Trisha Yearwood. “The first time I played it for Trisha was five minutes ago,” he said backstage. It was reported that the CMA producers were not entirely in favor of him to make the melody originally. Asked about that back, Brooks said he understood the point of view – “Making a ballad and a new song was not necessarily big TV” from his point of view – but said he won them. As if Garth would in the end ever make a loss on it.

A series of superior performance made this CMAs a winner. Luke Bryan opened the show by taking out a host of younger artists to help him out on “What Makes You Country” – including two reputable women who have encountered an uphill, Ashley McBryde and Lindsay Ell. The girl’s power increased when Miranda Lambert led Pistol Annies through “Getting my name changed back”, which marks the first time for at least a long time the word “horror” has appeared in a song on CMAs. Musgraves sang “Slow Burn”, a song you might think was really too much of a slow burner for fast TVs … but for the fans it was at least a clear third-thirds highlight.

Not so slow at all was the cool medley with the new Hall of Famer Ricky Skaggs, who runs through mainstream land and bluegrass parts of his career with the help of Urban, shows coworkers Brad Paisley and young prodigies Sierra Hull and Carson Peters (who’s only 14). Even at the most acoustic, it was the most swinging set of the night.

But CMAs did well with their all-star jams this year. Stapleton was joined by Mavis Staples, Maren Morris, Marty Stuart and Nashville Urban Choir for a medley of his “Friendship” and Staples “” I’ll take you there. “” I took a lot of ringers, “explained Stapleton backstage.” Mavis, in particular, we all owe her so much musical. Some of us may not even realize it. But she’s electricity in a bottle, and so inspiring to be like a person and musician. If we can spend some of our time to put her front and center, that’s exactly what we should do. “

If you were just watching this telecaster, you would think there was no breadland and the genre had always been the genre of peace, love, spirituality and uplifting social awareness. It was not just in the borrowing of a Staples Singers classics or Stapleton who sang about the art of giving. It was Brooks’ raised day of women in general, like Miss Yearwood, especially in the song “She’s stronger than me.” It can not be one of his full-time classics, but it’s a way to put one girl in a country song that Maddie & Tae might appreciate.

It was in Musgraves that explains the less harsh, more serious philosophy behind her recent album of the alphabet: “It was important for me to give people a hideaway with this record,” she said . “We live in a messy time. People may have expected social comments from me … and that’s where. But I was inspired to write about this beautiful world in which we live. For me, this really was an open hearted positive time, and the music is directly inspired by it. “

CREDIT: Chris Willman

And it was in Underwood to adopt the second choir of the night in the song” Love Wins “, a pro-tolerance hymn; backstage, she said she was led by her Christian morality to write about the need On Wednesday night, if only for a carefully curated night, the country music was the snowflake genre and lovingly proud of it. And that accusation was led by Underwood, who traditionally plays Grace Allen to Paisley George Burns during the opening comedy bites, but did their best to make the country the great grace of music before the end of the show.

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