There are few events in Music City that bring together all of our notable and talented country music stars in one place, for just one night. But this Wednesday, November 9, the Country Music Awards will rock Nashville for the 45th time celebrating the legacy of country music at our very own Bridgestone Arena. For one night only, what is normally the Predators’ ice rink located at Sixth Avenue and Broadway downtown, will be transformed into the genre’s biggest award show – The CMA Awards. Country music’s greatest superstars will walk the red carpet, pay tribute to 2011 and be honored with awards from the Country Music Association in front of a sold-out crowd of fans.
The show begins at 7 p.m. and will air live on ABC (local channel 2). For the fourth consecutive year, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will host the event and are tapped to sing their new hit song Remind Me on stage together for the first time on live television. Awards will be given out in 12 categories and each winner will receive the legendary CMA Trophy. Celebrities slated to present awards during the evening include American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina, Dierks Bentley, Erin Andrews, Reese Witherspoon, Kellan Lutz, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jake Owen, Billy Currington, newlywed Kellie Pickler, Leann Rimes and Reba McEntire. The jam-packed three hour show will also feature performances from several nominees and some of the biggest names in country music including Jason Aldean, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Scotty McCreery, Sugarland, Thompson Square, Zac Brown Band, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Chris Young, Matt Nathanson, Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter. Other special performances slated for the show include a tribute to Glen Campbell by Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Vince Gill; Rascal Flatts and Natasha Bedingfield teaming up to sing their new duet Easy, Lionel Richie performing a mash-up with Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts and Darius Rucker; and Blake Shelton will open the show with Footloose alongside Kenny Loggins.
The Macy’s Walk of Stars will kickoff the CMA Awards this Wednesday with red carpet artist arrivals in front of bleachers filled with fans and interviews from reporters from around the world. Beginning at 4 p.m. on Demonbreun Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, the Walk of Stars will be the central location for star sightings pre-show and the only red carpet area set up that night. Laura Bell Bundy (perhaps best known for her Legally Blonde Broadway starring role) will host the Pre-Telecast Awards Ceremony and distribute awards for the CMA Broadcast Awards.
Last year country music sweethearts Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert won big and took home the most awards and some of the biggest accolades — including top female and male vocalist of the year. Brad Paisley was crowned Entertainer of the Year which is the largest award given during the show. Past recipients of the coveted award include Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson and Vince Gill.
Don’t miss the show: CMA Awards
Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. EST) – 10 p.m. (11 EST)
ABC Channel 2 (local) or view a livestream online at http://cmaawards.cmaworld.com
A full list of nominees for the 2011 CMA Awards:
In an effort to take an educated, completely unbiased and very random guess on who will win, I’ve underlined my winner choices below…do you agree? You can make your own predictions and enter for a chance to win a trip to CMA Music Fest in June at http://game.cmaworld.com/
Entertainer of the Year: Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley
Female Vocalist of the Year: Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift
Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton
New Artist of the Year: The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Thompson Square, Chris Young
Vocal Group of the Year: The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Zac Brown Band
Vocal Duo of the Year: The Civil Wars, Montgomery Gentry, Steel Magnolia, Sugarland, Thompson Square
Single of the Year: A Little Bit Stronger by Sara Evans, Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band, Don’t You Wanna Stay by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, Honey Bee by Blake Shelton, If I Die Young by The Band Perry
Album of the Year: Blake Shelton: All About Tonight, Jason Aldean: My Kinda Party, Taylor Swift: Speak Now, Brad Paisley: This is Country Music, Zac Brown Band: You Get What You Give
Song of the Year: Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band, Dirt Road Anthem by Brantley Gilbert and Colt Ford (sung by Jason Aldean), If I Die Young by Kimberly Perry/The Band Perry, Mean by Taylor Swift, You and Tequila by Deana Carter and Matraca Berg (sung by Kenny Chesney)
Musical Event of the Year: As She’s Walking Away by Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson, Coal Miner’s Daughter by Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert, Don’t You Wanna Stay by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, Old Alabama by Brad Paisley and Alabama, You and Tequila by Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter
Music Video of the Year: If I Die Young – The Band Perry, Honey Bee – Blake Shelton, Mean – Taylor Swift, Old Alabama – Brad Paisley and Alabama, You and Tequila – Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter
Musician of the Year: Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Paul Franklin, Dann Huff, Mac McNally