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Category: Carrie Underwood

Miranda Lambert in seven CMA races including three against fiance Blake Shelton

September 1, 2010 |  2:45 pm

Miranda Lambert Blake Shelton CMA Awards Miranda Lambert will contend in seven of the 12 categories at the upcoming 44th annual CMA Awards airing on ABC Nov. 10. Lambert's nominations include album, female vocalist, song, musical event and the big prize of entertainer of the year. Double nods in both single and music video of the year bring her nomination haul up to nine. In both of those races, her competition includes her beau Blake Shelton and the lovebirds also face off for best musical event. Shelton is also nominated for male vocalist.

By equaling the achievement of Merle Haggard back in 1970, Lambert established a new benchmark for nominations for a female artist. The overall record was set by Alan Jackson with 10 nominations in 2002.

Among Lambert's competition for the coveted title of entertainer of the year is the trio Lady Antebellum, which also contends for album, single, vocal group and music video. The Zac Brown Band is up for both the entertainer and new artist prizes, the first act to pull off this double play since Ricky Skaggs in 1982. The boys in the band also vie for vocal group and musical event.

The entertainer race also includes CMA co-host Brad Paisley, who contends as well for male vocalist (he has won the last three years) and video. Paisley’s bids this year push his career total to 52 and he jumps from No. 5 to No. 3 on the overall list ranking behind only Alan Jackson (79) and George Strait (81). Strait earned the latest two of that record haul this year with noms for male vocalist and album. In 27 years, Strait has only been shut out of CMA Awards nominations two times, in 1992 and 2006.

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Poll: Will Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift have the longer career?

June 18, 2010 |  2:44 pm

Carrie Underwood Taylor Swift CMT Music AwardsCarrie Underwood and Taylor Swift remain relatively evenly matched when it comes to award hardware. Over the last five years, both of these women have won their share of kudos decided upon by both the public and the industry.

In their showdown at last week's CMT Music Awards, Carrie Underwood won over the public, taking the top honor of video of the year for "Cowboy Casanova" and also scoring the performance prize for her rendition of "Temporary Home" on the CMT show "Invitation Only." Taylor Swift went home empty-handed despite three nominations, including bids for video of the year and female video for "You Belong to Me."

At the Academy of Country Music Awards in April, Underwood prevailed as entertainer of the year for the second year in a row. Swift lost all five of her bids, even though she was coming off big wins at both the Grammys (album of the year) and the Country Music Assn. Awards (entertainer of the year, album of the year, best female vocalist). However, she could not convince a combination of ACM members and online voters to give her that one prize missing from her mantle.

In a recent poll, our readers thought Carrie Underwood the better singer over Taylor Swift by a margin of more than two to one. However, talent is only one factor in the continued success of a performer. The public can be fickle, and what works today can seem tired tomorrow. Country crooners tend to have longer careers than their pop counterparts. Yet even among the Nashville set, stars can burn out quickly (Gretchen Wilson) or fade away (Shania Twain).

Photos: Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood at the 9th annual CMT Music Awards. Credit: Getty Images.

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Carrie Underwood crushes Taylor Swift in talent poll

June 18, 2010 | 12:50 pm

Taylor Swift Carrie Underwood CMA AwardsSince Carrie Underwood trounced Taylor Swift at last week's CMT Music Awards, there has been a heated debate among our readers as to who is the better singer.

Almost 10,000 people voted in a poll asking which of these two songbirds was the biggest talent. Carrie Underwood was the clear winner, taking 63% of the vote. Taylor Swift ran a distant second at 30%, with 5% of readers unable to choose between the two and 2% opting for another singer as their favorite.

As comments on this post topped 250, the following are just a small sample:

kb:The key word here is 'talent' and that's where Carrie Underwood is the winner, hands down! Taylor Swift shouldn't even be mentioned with the word 'talent' in the same sentence. Has anyone besides me ever even listened to her weak, screeching voice? Like fingernails on a chalkboard! UGH!!

nicole: They're both great. But Taylor has it all. She's much younger than Carrie and she can actually right her own songs. Yeah, she's not the best singer, but she's the most emotional singer. And Taylor Swift is the only person I know who would have a 13 hour meet and greet. She cares for her fans MUCH more than Carrie. MUCH more.

Katie: Taylor is not in Carrie's league, vocally. No competition. The fact that Taylor wins Vocalist awards is maddening.

g jenkins: Taylor has it all. She can write, sing and show a purity to her being. She gives evenyone a sence of what a true sweetheart is! Not trashy......Taylor stay true to yourself as this will pay off in the long run.

Irene: Carrie by far. She is the real deal.she has a beautiful voice and very pretty. I would vote for her anytime. I think Reba is the queen and Carrie is the princess right now. Carrie will be queen.

matt: you cant compare the two, taylor is a great writer decent singer, carrie is a great singer decent writer, it just depends on what you look for, they are both great and you cant really say one is lesser

Terri: Neither one is qualified to be Queen of country--Taylor is so young & yes sings off key! None of the currently popular girls will EVER compare to Shania, Leeann or Faith. This is not a high School cheerleading contest. Country music has become very boring. And--George Strait is STILL the man!!!!

Photos: Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood at the 2009 CMA Awards. Credit: ABC

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Songbird smackdown: Taylor Swift vs. Carrie Underwood

June 11, 2010 |  1:52 am

Carrie Underwood Taylor Swift CMT Music Awards On Wednesday, Carrie Underwood triumphed at the CMT Music Awards winning the top honor of video of the year for "Cowboy Casanova" and also scoring the performance prize for her rendition of "Temporary Home" on the CMT show "Invitation Only." Last year's big champ -- Taylor Swift -- went home empty-handed despite three nominations, including bids for video of the year and female video for "You Belong to Me."

That snub of Taylor Swift is even more surprising given that she won both those awards last year for "Love Story" and in 2008 for "Our Song." But Carrie Underwood has proved to be even more popular with CMT viewers. In 2007 the one-time "American Idol" champ took home awards for both video of the year and female video for "Before He Cheats." That year Swift won the breakthrough video race for "Tim McGraw." But in 2006, Underwood won both that prize and female video for "Jesus, Take the Wheel" giving her a one-award advantage over Swift.

While both of these talented women have won their share of awards decided upon by the public, in their most recent showdown before the CMT kudos -- the  Academy of Country Music Awards in April -- Underwood also came out on top. She prevailed as entertainer of the year for the second year in a row. Swift was coming off award romps at both the Country Music Assn. (entertainer of the year and best female vocalist) and the Grammys (album of the year). However, she could not convince a combination of ACM members and online voters to give her that one prize missing from her mantle.

Photos: Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood at the 9th annual CMT Music Awards. Credit: Getty Images.

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Poll: Is Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood the bigger talent?

June 11, 2010 |  1:22 am

Taylor Swift Carrie Underwood CMA Awards Since Carrie Underwood came roaring back to defeat Taylor Swift at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards, there has been a heated debate among our readers as to who is the bigger talent.

The two singers are fairly evenly matched when it comes to awards hardware. However, as seen by this sampling of comments about the original post, opinion remains divided as to who is the true queen of country music:

Jen: The only reason that Taylor won so may awards this past season was due to the sympathy vote after the Kanye outburst. Carrie is oh so deserving of these awards and so many more. Carrie is a true American idol.

Mark Raymond Cubbage: I do believe Taylor should have won, not Carrie. Like Taylor or not, "You Belong With Me" was one of the biggest sensations of the year. Everyone from country to pop was covering it and it never seemed to leave CMT. "Cowboy Casanova" went almost unnoticed. The only reason Carrie won is because she is currently active with a new release, whereas Taylor is in the "writing" stage. Had she just released a new single, chances are she would have won for sure. After awhile, all of Underwood's songs begin to have the same rhythm. Anyone else notice?

CLM: So glad to hear Carrie took the awards. Real tired of hearing Taylor and her teeny bop songs. The title was fitting. Congrats Carrie.

Amanda: Taylor should have won one or all of them. They were very disappointing. Why did she not perform? Those awards were boring. Taylor looked beautiful like always. I dont get why Carrie has been winning the past two award shows. Well when Taylor comes out with her new CD she will be winning again.

Judy: Thank goodness the fans got it right this year. Carrie, is absolutely the Queen of Country Music. She is such a beautiful girl, inside and out. She is just Awesome!!! Congratulations to Carrie and all of the winners!!!

katydid: "Cowboy Casanova" is a very strange song and the video is pretty trashy in my opinion. Carrie has a great voice but I don't think she is all that authentic. Carrie is a product of the industry like her or not. Taylor writes her own songs and has stayed true to who she is. She's so young, just imagine the songs she'll be writing as she matures. I guess voice won over substance.

Add your voice to the ongoing debate and cast your vote in our poll as well.

Photos: Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood at the 2009 CMA Awards. Credit: ABC.

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Carrie Underwood knocks Taylor Swift off pedestal at CMT Music Awards

June 10, 2010 |  7:19 am

Carrie Underwood CMT Music Awards Carrie Underwood showed Taylor Swift just who the real queen of country music is with her two big wins at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards. The one-time "American Idol" champ prevailed in another public vote as her video for "Cowboy Casanova" took the top award while her rendition of "Temporary Home" on the CMT show "Invitation Only" won the performance prize.

Taylor Swift went into the night with three nominations, including bids for video of the year and female video for "You Belong to Me." The teen singing sensation won both those awards last year for "Love Story" and in 2008 for "Our Song." Both Swift and Underwood lost the female video race to Miranda Lambert, who took home her first CMT award for "White Liar." Swift's third unsuccessful bid this year was in the collaborative video category for her duet with Kellie Pickler on "Best Days of Your Life." That award was won by Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins ("Hillbilly Bone").

Three years ago, Carrie Underwood also won both video of the year and female video for "Before He Cheats."  In the nine years of these awards, four performers have now taken the top prize twice, with Keith Urban ("Better Life," 2006; "Days Go By," 2005) and Toby Keith ("American Soldier," 2004; "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," 2003) being the others. Urban won the male video award for the first time this year for "’Til Summer Comes Around" while Keith lost his top video bid for "American Ride."

Lady Antebellum won group video for the first time ("Need You Now") while the soon-to-split Brooks & Dunn won the duo video award for the first time since 2002 for "Indian Summer." Luke Bryan delivered the breakthrough video ("Do I") and helmer Shaun Silva won an award for his body of work.

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Can Carrie Underwood dethrone Taylor Swift at CMT Music Awards?

May 11, 2010 | 11:53 am

Taylor Swift CMT Awards While reigning country queen Taylor Swift is among the leading contenders in Tuesday's announcement of the final nominees for the ninth annual CMT Music Awards, she faces a fierce fight with Carrie Underwood.

Taylor Swift landed three nominations, including bids for video of the year and female video for "You Belong to Me." The teen singing sensation took home these awards last year for "Love Story" and in 2008 for "Our Song." Swift's third bid this year is in the collaborative video category for her duet with Kellie Pickler on "Best Days of Your Life." 

Carrie Underwood's video for "Cowboy Casanova" is up for both the top award and female video while her rendition of "Temporary Home" on the CMT show "Invitation Only" is nominated for the performance prize. Three years ago, Underwood won both video of the year and female video for "Before He Cheats."

Taylor Swift is the only woman to win video of the year twice and is tied with Keith Urban ("Better Life," 2006; "Days Go By," 2005) and Toby Keith ("American Soldier," 2004; "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," 2003), both of whom are back in that race this year. Urban contends with "Til Summer Comes Around" while Keith vies with "American Ride."

Two other acts — Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum — scored three nominations apiece, including bids for video of the year for "The Truth" and "Need You Now" as well as in the male and group video categories, respectively. While Alden and Bryan Adams were nominated for their collaborative video for "Heaven," Lady Antebellum picked up a performance nom for its rendition of "Lookin' for a Good Time" on last year's kudocast.

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Gold Derby nuggets: ACMs still win night with lower ratings | ABC finds five hours for 'Lost' finale

April 19, 2010 |  3:15 pm

Carrie Underwood ACMs • The Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday won the night for CBS with 13.05 million tuning in to see Carrie Underwood keep her crown as entertainer of the year. With the other nets programming original fare this year, viewership was down 12% from last year's awardscast which had scored the best numbers in a decade. Lower ratings for these country music kudos bucks the trend this TV season which has seen increased audiences for everything from the Emmys and Oscars to the ACM's country cousin, the Country Music Awards, which were up by 7% last November.

Sharon Waxman delves into the mystery surrounding entry into the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. -- which puts on the Golden Globes -- and discovers that there is trouble afoot as HFPA president Philip Berk supports the admission of Lesley O’Toole over the objection of member Patricia Danaher. As Sharon points out, "the battle may be over who gets to control the market in writing for UK publications, but the problem is a perennial one for members of the Foreign Press, who get unmatched access to movie stars -- including access to transcripts from HFPA news conferences -- because of the prominence of the Golden Globes. The 84-member group accepts only five new members a year to protect those and other privileges, such as free travel to two film festivals per year." THE WRAP

• "Glee" leading lady Lea Michele is not one to hold a grudge. Snubbed by the Tony Awards three years for her performance in the tuner "Spring Awakening" -- which went on to win the best musical prize -- Michele will be on hand May 4 to announce the nominees for the 64th annual edition of these top theater kudos. Joining her at the podium will be Jeff Daniels, a nominee for lead actor last year for his role in "God of Carnage." While that play won the Tony, Daniels lost his race to Geoffrey Rush in "Exit the King." Daniels exited his play last fall but returned in March to tackle the other male role -- the one that earned James Gandolfini a Tony nom last year. TONY AWARDS

• A record 61 entries from 36 countries, along with 497 entries from students representing 122 U.S. colleges and universities are in the running for the 2010 Student Academy Awards. Winners of this competition -- now in its 37th year -- will be announced during a ceremony on June 12 at the academy's swank Samuel Goldwyn Theater. As the press release notes, "Since the program’s inception, Student Academy Award winners have gone on to earn 40 Oscar nominations and won 7 Academy Awards." The most recent of these was Pete Docter who co-directed the 2009 best animated feature 'Up.' In addition, Gregg Helvey, a 2009 Student Academy Award winner, also helmed the live action short nominee "Kavi" last year. AMPAS

Lost_Logo • ABC is devoting a four-hour block of primetime on May 23 to the finale of "Lost" and airing a special edition of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" later that night. In addition, the alphabet net will also salute the Emmy Award-winning series with other events on both coasts. As per Michael Schneider, "Exec producer Carlton Cuse let slip via Twitter last week that one event, 'Lost Live: The Final Celebration,' will take place at UCLA's Royce Hall on May 13." And comedy troupe the Upright Citizens Brigade will celebrate the show with finale eve events at their outpost in LA and New York as well. VARIETY

Juan Jose Campanella -- who directed last year's Oscar-winning foreign language film "The Secret in Their Eyes" -- chats with Bilge Ebiri about his second entry in the derby race having lost in 2001 for "Son of the Bride." As Campanella recalls, "the last few days, people started talking about it in blogs and stuff like that. I saw something in 'Entertainment Weekly' even. It made me very nervous. When we first got nominated, we thought, 'Oh, it’s a great honor to be nominated, let’s go there and enjoy ourselves. It’ll be like 'Son of the Bride,' it’s good for the movie, and that’s it.' And then the last week or so, I saw these things and I thought, 'Oh s***.' Because now I was getting my hopes up and suddenly becoming nervous. So, we went in thinking that we were in the running." NEW YORK

• In anticipation of his upcoming hosting gig at the MTV Movie Awards, Aziz Ansari says he has been busy catching up on all the potential nominees. "I've watched 'Twilight' a bunch. I've watched 'Avatar' 400 times. I have hit movies playing on Blu-ray at all times. I've been stalking Daniel Radcliffe. Whatever I can do to get the movies in my head." And he admits, "I want to make sure all the short films I do really meet the high bar that's been set by all the other hosts. I thought all the stuff Andy (Samberg) did last year was awesome, and I just want to do my own version." MTV

Top photo: Carrie Underwood at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Credit: CBS

Bottom photo: "Lost" logo. Credit: ABC

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Why was Taylor Swift skunked at the ACM Awards?

April 19, 2010 | 10:20 am

Considering her recent award romps at the Grammys (album of the year) and Country Music Assn. (entertainer of the year and best female vocalist), it's shocking that Taylor Swift lost all four nominations at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Taylor Swift lost entertainer of the year to Carrie Underwood, female vocalist of the year and video of the year to Miranda Lambert and song of the year to Lady Antebellum.

Taylor Swift ACM Awards Academy of Country Music news

It's not as if the ACM Award voters hate her. Swift's "Fearless" CD won best album last year and she was voted best new female vocalist two years ago. Maybe they just grew tired of her due to media overplay? The answer is difficult to discern considering the complex voting method used to determine the winners of some categories. While most ACM Awards were determined exclusively by members' votes, other categories, like entertainer of the year (which was widely expected to go to Taylor Swift), was decided by a combo of academy members and Internet votes.

Below are some views of our forum posters. See more here.

Awardshq: Taylor should have won Entertainer of the Year. No other country star was bigger than her this year. Even if you don't like her, you can't deny that.

Longoria: Did Taylor not win a single award? Praise Jesus there is a God!

N Lester: Yes! You speak the truth. I'm glad the public awarded actual talent instead of popularity.

Continue reading »

Can Taylor Swift make it three in a row at CMT Awards?

April 7, 2010 | 10:22 am

Taylor Swift CMT Awards No surprise that reigning country queen Taylor Swift is among the leading contenders in Tuesday's announcement of first-round nominees for the ninth annual CMT Music Awards. Swift landed three nominations, including bids for video of the year and female video for "You Belong to Me." Swift took home both of these awards last year for "Love Story" and in 2008 for "Our Song."

Taylor Swift is the only woman to win video of the year twice and is tied with Keith Urban ("Better Life," 2006; "Days Go By," 2005) and Toby Keith ("American Soldier," 2004; "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," 2003), both of whom are back in that race this year. Urban contends with "Til Summer Comes Around" while Keith vies with "American Ride."

Taylor Swift is also contending for collaborative video for her duet with Kellie Pickler on "Best Days of Your Life." Pickler picked up a female video nom as did Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. Underwood's video for "Cowboy Casanova" is also up for the top award, and her rendition of "Temporary Home" on the CMT show "Invitation Only" is nominated for the performance prize.

A trio of acts scored four nominations apiece -- Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and Sugarland. Aldean and Lady Antebellum both contend for video of the year for "The Truth" and "Need You Now," respectively. Sugarland was shut out of the top race, landing competing bids for duo video of the year ("Keep You," "Nightswimming/Joey") as well as two noms for their collaboration with the B-52s on "Love Shack," a highlight of last year's CMT Awards.

Brad Paisley is back in the hunt for his first video of the year win with a bid for "Welcome to the Future." Last year, Paisley was the big winner at the CMT Awards, taking home his first male video award ("Waiting on a Woman") plus laurels in two other categories: collaborative video ("Start a Band" with Keith Urban) and performance of the year ("Country Boy" with Alan Jackson, George Strait and Dierks Bentley).

Eight of the nine categories have eight contenders apiece. Online voting that runs till May 3 will winnow these to four finalists in each category, which will be announced May 11. Then another round of online voting through June 8 will determine the winners.

Voting for video of the year is different. There are 10 semifinalists, which will be cut down to a final five that will be revealed at the start of the awards ceremony airing live on CMT June 9 from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The winner of the top prize will be determined by votes cast online and via text message during the kudocast.

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 Photo: Taylor Swift performing on the 8th annual CMT Awards. Credit: CMT

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Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood vie for ACM entertainer of the year award

March 2, 2010 | 10:10 am

Taylor Swift and reigning champ Carrie Underwood face off against six male artists for the top prize at the 45th annual Academy of Country Music awards on April 18. Three of the men in the race are former winners of entertainer of the year -- Kenny Chesney (2004-2007), Toby Keith (2002, 2003) and George Strait (1989). Another two are multiple male vocalist of the year champs -- Brad Paisley (2006-2008) and Keith Urban (2004, 2005) -- while the final entry -- the Zac Brown Band -- are relative rookies. The ACM entertainer of the year will be determined by online voting as will the four newcomer awards.

Reba McEntire Blake Shelton Academy of Country Music Awards Nominations Perennial ACM host Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton announced the nominations Tuesday morning on CBS' "The Early Show." McEntire -- the 1994 entertainer of the year -- contends this year for female vocalist, an award she has won seven times already. Shelton is vying for vocal event of the year for "Hillbilly Bone."

While Lady Antebellum did not earn an entertainer of the year bid, the group lead with seven other nominations including vocal group, album, single and song. Both Underwood and Miranda Lambert have six nominations while Swift has five.

Expect Swift -- who swept the CMAs last fall with four wins including the coveted entertainer of the year title -- to do just as well at the ACMs. In addition to her entertainer of the year bid, Swift contends for female vocalist and is up for three awards for "You Belong With Me" -- video of the year, song of the year performer and song of the year co-writer.

At last fall's CMAs, Swift ended the three-year reign of Kenny Chesney as the top entertainer. His loss there had been foretold by his defeat for the same award -- after four wins in a row -- at last spring's ACMs to Carrie Underwood. Underwood -- who co-hosted the CMA Awards -- had won female vocalist there for the previous three years but was bested by Swift.

Underwood has won that same award at the ACMs for the last three years and contends again this year. Her CMA co-host, Brad Paisley, won his third consecutive CMA male vocalist prize last fall and is defending his three-year winning streak at the ACMs.

Even the most die-hard country music fans have a tough time explaining the difference between the Country Music Assn. (CMA), which handed out awards last fall, and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), which passes out honors every spring. The only differences besides the dates are network affiliation and geography -- the CMA Awards air on ABC from Nashville; the ACM Awards are doled out on CBS from Las Vegas. Both awards are bestowed by industry organizations with many of the same voters and -- no surprise -- many of the same winners.

In the 45-year history of the ACM Awards, just 23 men and 24 women have won the vocalist prizes. And only 21 different acts have been named entertainer of the year. The CMAs are no different, with many of the champs there having won first at the ACM Awards or vice versa. Over 43 years, the CMA Awards has seen 23 men and 24 women take top vocal honors while 29 different acts have ranked as entertainer of the year.

For the full list of nominees, visit the ACM website.

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Photo: Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton. Credit: CBS

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CMAs and ACMs are country cousins

November 12, 2009 |  9:02 am

Brad Paisley Carrie Underwood CMAs Even the most die-hard country music fans have a tough time explaining the difference between the Country Music Assn. (CMA), which handed out awards Wednesday night, and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), which passes out honors every May. The only differences besides the dates are network affiliation and geography -- the CMA Awards air on ABC from Nashville while the ACM Awards are doled out on CBS from Las Vegas. Both awards are bestowed by industry organizations with many of the same voters and -- no surprise -- many of the same winners.

In the 45-year history of the ACM Awards, just 23 men and 24 women have won the vocalist prizes. And only 21 different acts have been named entertainer of the year. The CMAs are no different, with many of the champs there having won first at the ACM Awards or vice versa. Over 43 years, the CMA Awards have seen 23 men and 24 women take top vocal honors while 29 different acts have ranked as entertainer of the year.

Expect Taylor Swift -- who swept the CMAs this year with four wins including the coveted entertainer of the year title -- to do just as well at the next edition of the ACMs. At the CMAs, Swift beat three-time reigning entertainer of the year Kenny Chesney. His loss there was foretold by his defeat for the same award-- after four wins in a row -- at last May's ACMs, losing to Carrie Underwood.

Underwood -- who co-hosted the CMA Awards -- had won female vocalist there for the last three years, but was bested by Swift this year. However, her co-host, Brad Paisley, picked up his third consecutive male vocalist prize. And Underwood and Paisley have won for the last three years at the ACMs.

The CMA was founded first, in Nashville in 1958, just one year after the Grammy Awards parent organization, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, was formed in Los Angeles. The association's mission was to serve as an industry think tank and networking organization for Nashville music makers, not to present awards. The first country music kudos were bestowed in 1965 by the upstart new Country and Western Music Academy, formed one year earlier by country artists who had ditched honky-tonk Nashville for the glamour of Hollywood. That group eventually morphed into the ACM. In 1967, the CMA started passing out prizes too.

West Coasters like Merle Haggard dominated the early ACM awards, while Nashville faves Johnny Cash and Charlie Pride swept the CMAs. However, within a decade both groups were honoring the same artists with one exception -- Toby Keith, who's probably been punished by CMA members for not making Nashville his home.

Traditionally, the CMAs have more viewers than the ACMs, but both are so popular that they're aired during sweeps months, and sometimes one or both beat the Nielsen ratings scored by the Emmy Awards. Indeed, the popularity of the CMAs and ACMs ignited an explosion of award shows on TV.

Until 1970, the only major awardscasts were the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. The Grammys only existed on TV in a rather dull, taped one-hour special billed as "Best on Record." When the CMAs nabbed a spot in prime time, NBC crammed it into its regular weekly "Kraft Music Hall."

Then, in 1971, the Grammys went live in a stand-alone awardscast. When Paul McCartney showed up to accept an award for the busted-up Beatles, the crowd and TV viewing audience went crazy, and ABC had a hit on its hands. Foolishly, however, the alphabet network gave up the broadcast rights to the Grammys just one year later when the recording academy wanted to move the show to Nashville.

CBS not only grabbed the rights to the Grammys but launched a live, stand-alone CMA show. The ACM awardscast was launched in 1972 too. Suddenly, there were three music-award shows on TV at the same time, and all of them scored socko ratings.

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