2007 CMA Performers Winners
FIRST TIMERS AND VETERANS SHARE HONORS AT “THE 41st ANNUAL CMA AWARDS”
Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, and Carrie Underwood Each Win Two CMA Awards on Country Music’s Biggest Night
Country Music’s newest stars and industry veteran performers stood shoulder to shoulder at “The 41st Annual CMA Awards,” as “Country Music’s Biggest Night” honored a variety of its biggest artists.
Relentless touring phenomenon Kenny Chesney won his third Entertainer of the Year Award.
“I can’t believe that I get to stand on the stages I stand on every summer and sing the songs I get to sing,” Chesney said. “I love Country Music and I love doing what I do.” During the pre-telecast ceremony, Chesney won his first Award in the Musical Event of the Year category, sharing the honor with Tracy Lawrence and Tim McGraw for “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” Chesney performed current single “Don’t Blink,” from his latest album Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates.
Lawrence was a first-time winner. “This is something that we wanted to sing,” Lawrence said of his friends backstage. “We all related to it. I’m proud to have the friends I have. It wouldn’t have happened without these guys.”
In such a relatively short career, Carrie Underwood continues to rack up awards, winning her second consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year Award and adding a Single of the Year Award for smash hit “Before He Cheats,” produced by Mark Bright. “Here I go again, the waterworks have started,” an emotional Underwood said. “If you had told me years ago that I would be nominated with the people I was nominated with I would have thought you were insane.” Underwood performed “So Small” from her sophomore album Carnival Ride, which sold more than 500,000 copies in its first week’s release.
Nominated seven times for Male Vocalist of the Year, Brad Paisley finally won his first Award in the category. “I can’t tell you what this means to me,” Paisley said. “I have always wanted to win it once and this will do.” Paisley got emotional when talking about his father, “who carried amplifiers and ran sound even though he didn’t know what he was doing.”
The Brentwood High School Marching Band introduced Paisley’s performance of “Online” with an instrumental cadence. Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift, who made cameos in the Music Video of the Year winner “Online,” directed by Jason Alexander, joined Paisley on stage to dance with some members of the marching band.
Country Music Hall of Fame member George Strait added another CMA Award to his mantle, winning his sixth Album of the Year Award for It Just Comes Natural, produced by Tony Brown. “Of all of the Awards I was nominated for tonight, this was the one I wanted to win the most,” Strait said. Strait performed “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls” from It Just Comes Natural.
Strait’s “Give It Away” won the Song of the Year honor for songwriters Bill Anderson, Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson. Country Music Hall of Fame member Anderson commented, “Y’all have been letting me do this for 50 years and I love you.” Johnson jokingly thanked his ex-wife who “deserves half of this song and half of this Award too,” referencing the lyrics of the song about a wife leaving her husband and all of their belongings behind.
Rascal Flatts, the top-selling artist of 2006 in all genres, proved why when they won their fifth consecutive Vocal Group of the Year Award. The group opened the show with “Still Feels Good,” the title track from their mega-selling new album, and closed out the broadcast with a duet with Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx (“Ray”)
Breaking a six consecutive year win streak by Brooks & Dunn, a stunned Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland accepted their first Vocal Duo of the Year Award by paying tribute to those that came before. “All of our success,” said Nettles, “it’s because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. We are happy to be receiving this Award.” The duo performed a stripped down “Stay” from their Platinum album Enjoy the Ride.
Seventeen-year-old Taylor Swift performed “Our Song” before winning her first CMA Award, the coveted Horizon Award. “I can’t even believe that this is real,” the high school senior said. “I want to thank God and my family for moving to Nashville so I could do this. The fans you have changed my life. This is definitely the highlight of my senior year!”
Vocal Duo and Single of the Year nominee Big & Rich dedicated their performance of “Loud” to the late Porter Wagoner. Fourteen-time Vocal Duo of the Year Brooks & Dunn performed the poignant “God Must Be Busy.”
The crop of Horizon Award nominees showed why Country Music’s future is bright. Rodney Atkins performed his No. 1 hit “These Are My People” from his album If You’re Going Through Hell. Jason Aldean served up the carefree “Johnny Cash,” a tribute to the Man in Black’s restless nature. “American Idol” alum Kellie Pickler offered the heart-wrenching “I Wonder,” a song she wrote about the mother who abandoned her when she was 2 years old. Little Big Town, who were nominated for Vocal Group of the Year as well as Horizon, performed their hit “Boondocks.”
Josh Turner, who was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, exploded on screen and with the audience at the Sommet Center with his hit “Firecracker” from his new album Everything Is Fine. Fellow Male Vocalist nominee Keith Urban performed “Everybody” from his Platinum album Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing.
Female Vocalist of the Year nominee Miranda Lambert hit the target with her rocking “Gunpowder and Lead,” from her sophomore album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Fellow Female Vocalist nominee Reba McEntire, one of Lambert’s heroes, performed “When You Love Someone Like That” with LeAnn Rimes from her monumental Reba Duets album. Alison Krauss, a six-time Female Vocalist nominee, performed “Simple Love” with her band, Vocal Group of the Year nominee Union Station featuring Musician of the Year winner Jerry Douglas on dobro.
Legendary group the Eagles made their awards show debut, performing “How Long” from their new album Long Road Out of Eden, their first studio album in 28 years.
The CMA Awards featured a new format this year with multiple segment hosts sharing hosting duties throughout the broadcast. ABC Television personalities James Denton of “Desperate Housewives,” Kimberly Williams-Paisley of “According to Jim” and Kate Walsh of “Private Practice” split hosting duties with Country stars Sara Evans and Rimes.
Presenters included Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Jason Michael Carroll, Bucky Covington, Sheryl Crow, Jewel with Ty Murray, Kid Rock, Montgomery Gentry, Blake Shelton and Gretchen Wilson.
In 1958, CMA was the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. Its membership includes nearly 6,000 companies and music industry professionals around the globe.
“The 41st Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Walter C. Miller is the executive producer and Robert Deaton is the producer. Paul Miller is the director. David Wild is the writer. The special will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound and Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning. A TV parental guideline will be posted closer to airdate.
Premiere Radio Networks is the official radio packager of the CMA Awards, including a stereo-radio simulcast of the gala event. American Airlines is the official airline of the 2007 CMA Awards. Chevy: The Official Ride of Country Music. Mary Kay® is the Official Beauty Sponsor. Additional promotional partners include AOL, LLC., Borders® Books & Music, Carl Black Chevrolet, CMT®, Coca-Cola®, Dr Pepper®, Dunkin' Donuts®, Fidelity Investments, Gibson Guitar®, Greased Lightning® Cleaning Products, Hard Rock Cafe Nashville, Kellogg Company, Mr. Coffee®, Purity® Dairies, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., T.G.I. Friday’s® and The Yankee Candle Company.
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