Kenny Chesney blasted the Academy of Country Music last year for allowing Internet voting to determine who would win the entertainer of the year, which he claimed for the fourth straight year. Now Chesney is back in that race this year. He competes against Brad Paisley, George Strait, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban in nominations announced today. Not only is the ACM still allowing online voting, they're permitting fans to text their choice for this most prestigious of prizes during the live April 5 CBS telecast.
That new twist should make Kenny Chesney even madder. After all, backstage at last year's awards, Kenny Chesney fumed to reporters: "They took it from what the award really represents into a sweepstakes to see who can push people's buttons the hardest on the Internet. It's complete disrespect of the artist, what they've lowered it to. It really diminishes the integrity of the music that we're making. And I can say that because I won."
Yet last year, Chesney's official website and MySpace page both encouraged fans to vote for him — to "bring it home for KC." They provided links to the online voting. And at his official website today, there is an out-of-date link urging fans to vote for Chesney when the Great American Country music channel counted down the top 50 videos of 2008 — he ended up ranking 19th and 34th.
Photo: Allen J. Schaben/ L.A. Times