The ACM Awards Fiddle While Tim McGraw Steams

Dan Gibson | April 6, 2009 11:30 am

The Academy of Country Music Awards have some obligation to be slightly edgier due to their Las Vegas location and “always a bridesmaid” relationship to the similarly acronymed CMAs, but other than the spectacle Jamie Foxx shouting out Barack Obama on stage, the show’s reason for existence wasn’t always apparent. The broadcast mostly stuck to its business of acknowledging musicians for their hard work selling lots and lots of records, with a few jokes (Willie Nelson and Michael Phelps are recording an album of Doobie Brothers covers! Hilarious!) and B-list celebrities thrown in for kicks.

The evening’s most interesting bit of news happened before the show, when Tim McGraw apparently stormed off the set after arguing with producers. Bad news for McGraw fans, but good news for Blake Shelton, who was McGraw’s last-minute replacement. Other than that and a somewhat unexpected win for Jamey Johnson’s “In Color” for song of the year, things ran smoothly. The Entertainer of the Year award went to Carrie Underwood, which is only the sixth time the award has been presented to a woman or women, but I’d think that this year that prize could have only gone to her or Taylor Swift, right?

On a side note, while Taylor Swift did take away the Album of the Year award (along with a bonus award I didn’t quite understand), Tennessean country writer Peter Cooper’s pre-ACM video blog noted that in previous years, Album of the Year nominees had to sell at least 300,000 copies to be eligible. However, this year that criteria only allowed for nine potential nominees, so the requirement was scrapped, allowing Jamey Johnson to be eligible. The award went to the best-selling album anyway, but at least they tried.

This year’s winners:

Entertainer of the Year: Carrie Underwood Album of the Year: Fearless, Taylor Swift Top Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley Top Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood Top Vocal Group: Rascal Flatts Top Vocal Duo: Sugarland Top New Artist: Julianne Hough Single Record of the Year: “You’re Gonna Miss This”; Trace Adkins, Song of the Year: “In Color”: Jamey Johnson Video of the Year: “Waitin’ On A Woman”, Brad Paisley Vocal Event of the Year: “Start A Band”: Brad Paisley and Keith Urban

Academy of Country Music [homepage]