COLUMN: Singing praises of ACM awards

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By Shannon Brock

Country music and its fans aren’t typically labeled as being progressive or ahead of the curve, but the Academy of Country Music took a giant step forward Sunday night.

Women ruled the awards show, and — continuing in my “Go women!” mentality from last week — I couldn’t be happier.

I’ve always been a fan of a woman who can flat out sing, and if she has the talent to write her own masterpieces, that’s just the icing on the cake. At least six of these women were honored this past weekend at the ACM awards.

For those of you who aren’t country fans or didn’t stay up to watch, I’ll recap:

Country music heroine Reba McEntire hosted the show for the 11th time. As always, Reba demonstrated charm, poise and a great sense of comedic timing. Not to mention, she showcased her amazing pipes by debuting her new single, “Strange.”

Leann Rimes was given the Home Depot Humanitarian Award for being a starlet who isn’t afraid to help others.

Julianne Hough, of Dancing with the Stars fame, showed she has more than great moves by beating out male acts Jake Owen and the Zac Brown Band for top new artist.

Reba presented singer-songwriter Taylor Swift with a Crystal Milestone Award for selling CDs and bringing young people back to country music. Swift also picked up Album of the Year honors for her CD, “Fearless.” She’s 19, by the way.

Jennifer Nettles, half of the duo Sugarland, was also presented with a Crystal Milestone Award for being the first woman since 1972 to pen the Song of the Year for 2008’s smash hit “Stay.”

And America’s sweetheart and former American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood, was not only named Female Vocalist of the Year, but she went home as 2009’s Entertainer of the Year, besting four of country’s biggest male stars, including Kenny Chesney, who won the award each of the past four years. Carrie is one of only seven women to win the award in its 39-year history. The 26-year-old joined the ranks of Reba, Dolly and Loretta, to name a few.

Other female artists were nominated and put together some amazing performances, and the men didn’t do half bad either.

But 2009 seemed to be the year of the woman at the ACM awards, and that recognition couldn’t have come soon enough. I’m with Carrie in saying that I can’t wait until columns like these don’t have be to written because women are winning awards like these so often it’ll be no big deal.

Another note

We’re on a mission to find out what residents like best about living in Lawrenceburg and Anderson County, and what they like the least. But we can’t do it without you.

If you have things you like or dislike about living here, let us know for a future news story.

E-mail your responses to me at sbrock@theandersonnews.com. Please include your first and last name and a daytime phone number.