How are you going to spend your Wednesday night? Well if you’re craaaazy about country music, as I am, then surely you will be glued in front of a screen for the Country Music Association’s 45th annual awards show. The show airs live on Wednesday, November 9, at 8 p.m. on ABC. The CMA award show ranks among the “big 4″ in ratings; it stands alongside the Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes as one of the most watched TV spectacles.
What can you expect from this year’s CMA awards?
Not only will you see (and hear) such country favorites as Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney; this year, a number of “non-country” stars will be showing up to highlight the versatility of the genre. Expect appearances by rock singer Grace Potter, pop star Natasha Bedingfield and Lionel Richie who (believe it or not) has an upcoming country duet album called “Tuskegee.” This particular edition of the CMA awards points to the fact that country music is on a steady upward swing and has been over the last decade. Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson were two of the first pioneers to traverse the rock/country barrier. In later years, singers Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood made cowboy hats accessible for the mainstream. Other notable artists and their songs, such as Shania Twain’s I Feel Like a Woman, Billy Ray Cryus’ Achy Breaky Heart, and Faith Hill’s This Kiss have made long-lasting changes on American music.
It swings both ways though. The Rolling Stones borrowed from country with such ballads as Wild Horses and Far Away Eyes. Other rock artist who have gone country include: Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Bon Jovi, Uncle Kracker, Hootie & the Blowfish’s Darius Rucker, Jewel, and of course,- Jessica Simpson. (Okay, so she isn’t very rock; but you get the idea). All of this country cross-pollination shows that America is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.
Reps for the CMA’s aren’t surprised. As they told CNN:
“We are a very real-life music, based on real-life experiences. Who among us hasn’t had our hearts broken? Who hasn’t lost a loved one, found love or not gotten the job we wanted? It covers (everything from) the sad to the happy to the silly.”