The 2016 CMT Awards signal a revival of the musical variety, and we’re ready to be saved!
Last night we were graced with a live broadcast of the 2016 CMT Music Awards show happening in the heart of FanFest/CMA Week at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The award show featured several cross-genre performances pairing pop stars with today’s country hit machines, but to be honest, I believe the bloom has fallen off of that rose.
Between the crowd’s lack of reaction to acts like Fifth Harmony and Pharrell Williams, and the negative feedback on Elle King’s participation in Dierk’s Bentley’s “It’s Different for Girls”, it seems like we may have just reached the peak of how much pop bleed-over country fans, and the country music industry as a whole can handle. Even Fox News took a moment to call out the network on their lack of country backing.
Major networks are cancelling shows like “Nashville” (despite a smaller passionate fanbase doing everything they can to bring it back), acts like Taylor Swift and The Band Perry have stopped straddling the fence and jumped all the way off the country music deck, and even Rolling Stone Magazine has stopped featuring country artists on it’s cover lately. Let’s face it… Mainstream music’s love affair with the south may be coming to an end, and we’re ok with that.
On the other side of that coin, Chris Stapleton could cough into a microphone at this point and receive a standing ovation. A traditionalist country musician if ever there was, Chris is sweeping the awards circuit and reminding fans what it’s like to enjoy lyrical storytelling without a pop backbeat. Other artists have been towing that line for far too long, but the industry insiders seem to have spoken their piece and made Chris the head of the “bring back real country music” charge.
Acts like Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton are always going to dabble a bit in the current trends, but after last night’s laser light show filled with groin jokes and shameless pandering, I think we’re going to start seeing a lot of these pop-country exclusive artists start falling by the wayside as the deal-makers behind the scenes start cleaning up the mess they’ve made of our music.
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All that being said, here are the 7 categories that gave us these 2016 CMT Music Award Winners
CMT Performance of the Year: “Smoke Break” (from CMT Instant Jam), Carrie Underwood
CMT Social Superstar: Blake Shelton