And the CMA Entertainer of the Year should be...
Jeffrey Remz | November 9, 2011
Predicting who will win the big award tonight at the Country Music Association extravaganza in Nashville is not an easy one.
Nominees include Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. The fact of the matter is that anyone of them could take home the honor.
Aldean isn't big on the country factor- he's more rock (Southern rock at that) than anything else, but there is no denying this Georgian is on one huge roll. He enjoys hit after hit with arena-sized concerts to boot.
Paisley is a grizzled veteran at this point, even if he maintains a youthful appearance. He plays great, had a fine CD out this year, is touring away and has enjoyed a successful year.
Urban has had a recent setback with vocal issues, but he also was at the top of his game with a strong tour and the hits kept coming.
Shelton's career has skyrocketed with the release of several EPs and his new CD, "Red River Blue." And his marriage to Miranda Lambert did not hurt either. Shelton's had a long career, but he never quite took off. Soon, he has an arena headlining tour to deal with.
And then there's Swift. She had an excellent CD out a year ago, "Speak Now." It was by far her best CD with her voice maturing and a lot of well-written songs. Then, she launched a world-wide tour, hitting Asia and Europe before turning her sites on the U.S. Swift's played stadiums and made the transition quite well with an engaging show and set. She showed there's more substance to her than Tweeting and using Facebook all the time.
While not easy by any stretch, I'll go with Swift for Entertainer of the Year. She spurred the genre on with her overseas tour - I mean who tours Asia ever from country? Plus, her tour worked quite well in the U.S., and she has a great album to tour behind. It also may not hurt that she's the only female up for the prize. Congrats Taylor (even if the CMA doesn't bestow this honor on you!)