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Blake Shelton wins big at CMA Awards

Blake Shelton ruled the night. Photo: Getty Images

Blake Shelton ruled the night. Photo: Getty Images

The last segment of the CMAs at least rewarded those who cringed through the first two and a half hours, but things didn’t brighten for Georgia’s artists, all of whom lost in their respective categories.

Though Jason Aldean was widely expected to win the coveted Entertainer of the Year given his monster year, it was instead a stunned-looking Blake Shelton who took the award show’s top honor.

“When I moved to Nashville in 1994 I had two goals: One was to someday have a gold record and one day to be a member of the Grand Old Opry. Entertainer of the Year was…what is this? I don’t even know!,” Shelton stammered. “I know I’m not out there on the road as much…I don’t know how this happened. I freakin’ love it, though. I try to represent country music as best I can with everything I do. I love country music more than anybody in this room.”

The award was Shelton’s third of the night.

Earlier, Shelton’s wife Miranda Lambert took Female Vocalist of the Year. “I don’t necessarily deserve this, but I’ll sure take it,” she said, laughing. Lambert continued with a charmingly rambling speech about being invited to Martina McBride’s house and wanting to represent for all of the females, “to stick together and get our country voices heard.”

But the highlight of the show was the tribute to Willie Nelson.

Lady Antebellum initiated the performance with a tender “Always on My Mind” and “Crazy.” Then came Blake Shelton and Keith Urban for “Whiskey River”

and the ever-slender Tim McGraw and Faith Hill joined the team for “Good Hearted Woman.”

Nelson looked on from the audience with his usual bemused expression during the performances but came onstage to lead the all-star jam in “On the Road Again.”

At song’s end, host Brad Paisley ambled over to present Nelson with a massive trophy.

“How many pushups can you do with that one?” Nelson joked.

Here’s a complete list of 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


Album of the Year: Eric Church, “Chief”


Song of the Year: Miranda Lambert, “Over You”


Vocal Duo of the Year: Thompson Square


Single of the Year: Little Big Town, “Pontoon”


Music Video of the Year: “Red Solo Cup,” Toby Keith


Musical Event of the Year: “Feel Like A Rock Star,” Kenny Chesney (duet with Tim McGraw)


Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally (Guitar)

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

19 comments Add your comment

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]


November 2nd, 2012
6:25 am

Award shows do for music what political parties do for government.


November 2nd, 2012
6:54 am

Regarding that “bemused” expression on Willie’s face: …he was probably stoned!


November 2nd, 2012
7:42 am

This exchange at the very beginning of the CMA’s last night deserved mentioning:

Brad Paisley said “We are here to honor the great Willie Nelson. We will simultaneously strip you of all your previous CMA awards.” Carrie Underwood continued “because we understand you have been charged with doping issues”. In the audience, Willie was chuckling and mouthed a few words. Carrie, gasped and said feigning shock, “Did you just say “GUILTY?”.

I can’t say how the rest of the show was because we turned the channel but that was pretty funny.


November 2nd, 2012
8:04 am

Country fan for sure but I have yet to figure out the appeal of Miranda/Blake. She has the worst lyrics in country music and he is a drama queen. He complains about everything and everyone. Maybe I just answered my own question. Nevertheless, they are (and I hate to use the word) “trashiest” of all the artists in country. Please go away.


November 2nd, 2012
8:31 am

Kim Rhodes from Cornelia, GA is a member of Little Big Town

Georgia Boys Do It Right

November 2nd, 2012
8:31 am

Jason Aldean should’ve won Entertainer of the Year.

Not quite right

November 2nd, 2012
8:46 am

Since half of Little Big Town is from Georgia, I would say the state didn’t exactly go ‘win-less’…

TBP fan

November 2nd, 2012
9:25 am

the show overall was a little slow and disappointing, but there were some great performances:

The Band Perry – ‘Better Dig Two’: love the song, sounds like another #1 hit for them!

Kelly Clarkson/Vince Gill duet – ‘Don’t Rush’: Kelly just blew the rest of the female singers away with those powerful pipes; her voice sounded so natural, soulful….really enjoyed this one.

Blake Shelton/Keith Urban – ‘Whiskey River’: Blake and Keith were having fun with this one, as well they should.

some thoughts: Faith Hill – eat a cookie; Miranda Lambert – those leather pants were not flattering, at all; Blake – learn the word ‘brevity’ and apply it to your acceptance speeches.

Tech Sucks

November 2nd, 2012
9:36 am

I couldn’t name one song Blake Shelton sings. Lambert is terrible. Besides Zac Brown Band, country just isn’t good anymore.


November 2nd, 2012
9:56 am

It’s a stretch to call that the “Country” Music Awards. It sounds more like rock to most of us listening. Cowboy hats to baseball caps, jeans to leather pants, cowboy shirts to T’s (which look awesome). Willie is country. The rest of the show is Rock * Pop* and a tiny bit country.

urban redneck

November 2nd, 2012
10:02 am

blake shelton sucks. the best thing he ever did was marry miranda lambert.

country ain’t country anymore. my wife listens to “country” stations on the radio. it drives me insane.

Long Time Fan

November 2nd, 2012
10:03 am

The electric guitars were so loud it was hard to hear the singers; they hurt my ears so I turned the channel…their loss…

Melissa Ruggieri

November 2nd, 2012
12:04 pm

Hi guys- I talk about Little Big Town and their Georgia connections in this story.


American Mother

November 2nd, 2012
2:07 pm

I only watched it because of Willie – he is on my screen saver – I really and truly am his #1 fan!!! I used to take him huge bouquets of yellow roses, whenever he came to the Atlanta area. One night at the Omni, front row, he got his yellow roses and Waylon got red – they swapped on stage and then they both toasted me – the place went crazy but not near as crazy as me!!! I am 62 years old now and can no longer afford to go see him, but I still just love him, HE IS COUNRY!!!

Quit being a snob

November 2nd, 2012
7:14 pm

OK, look, guys. Melissa, you’re usually pretty fair, but I think you’ve been a BIT hard on everyone here. I am a pitch freak too, but the two I really noticed were Hunter Hayes and Carrie Underwood. Carrie surprised me, but maybe it was the hosting duties wearing her out. Hunter, I heard him do Wanted a month or two back on a talk show, and he sounded the same way. THEN AGAIN, I heard him a month or two ago ALSO at the Ryman doing a rockabilly cover at another awards show, and he sounded AMAZING in the most unforgiving acoustic room on earth.

My theory-I saw a show at Bridgestone two Fridays ago-NOTHING wrong with the acoustics.

MY HUNCH-these guys get nervous as heck playing in front of their peers. There is NO OTHER “music city” on earth as identifiable as Nashville is for country. ALL of these artists talk about how HARD it is to play here. LOTS of pressure.

Maybe they were drunk, too…:)…Lower Broadway is just outside the front door…pretty sure Luke Bryan was, according to reports (and I love Luke)…

So…whatever the case…all you folks COMPLAINING about country not being “country”, well, again, TURN THE STATION!

Try Pandora, XM, your iPod. Your whining is getting VERY old. NO ONE likes chronic complainers.

Quit being a snob

November 2nd, 2012
7:16 pm

As for Hunter on Wanted, to add: I think it’s just a pitchy song for him. Auto-tune must’ve been his friend on that one, as they say. The dude more than anything is a musical genius who plays something like 40 instruments. Unbelievable.


November 8th, 2012
6:10 pm

First, Carrie delivered the best performance of the night (as usual). Second, Carrie was ROBBED her best vocal award again! Why are the CMAs so obviously denying Carrie her deserved win? How can Miranda keep winning when eve SHE admitted she should not have won again? I am getting sick of all the BS awards each year – like how Luke or Jason lost out on lesser talent this year. Carrie was amazing as a host too – what does it freaking take for her to win again? Just because Blake & Miranda make a cute “golden” couple does not mean they should win ever year, year after year. If you listen to ML’s performance of “Fastest Girl”, then the incredible notes of “Blown Away” there is NO other winner besides Carrie. Just cuz Miranda jumps around, gets sweaty, and sings with a bigger twang does not make her better, it just makes her more predictable. Also, for Blake to win ETOY over Jason Aldean is simply wrong. Jason had 4 #1’s this year, biggest/hottest tour, biggest selling album, and sold out Fenway in 7 minutes.. that’s NOT enough to win ETOY? Blake has only been on the Voice to self-promote himself, and had 2 #1s… not bad, but no match for Jason. Honestly, this show seems rigged. How else can you explain another year of BS/ML domination when so many were better. Even ML said again in her speech that she does not deserve her award (JUST LIKE SHE SAID AT ACMS this year). CMAs lost a lot of credibility this year – sad.