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Swift, Shelton win CMT honors

Thursday, June 9, 2011 – Taylor Swift, The Band Perry and Blake Shelton were among the big winners at the 2011 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday. Justin Bieber won his first country music award for his project with Rascal Flatts.

Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert and the pairing of the Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett also won awards at Bridgestone Arena.

Swift took home the biggest honor - Video of the Year Award for Mine. "I just want to say thank you and hi to everybody back at the CMT Music Awards," she said. "I wish I could be there, but I'm hanging out with 15,000 of my closest friends in Milwaukee. I want to thank so many people - all the little kids who are in the video and their families for bringing them to Maine and being in the video. [Video director] Roman White, [actor] Toby Hemingway. And the fans that voted. I don't know what I did to deserve you guys, but you've made so many amazing things happen to me in my life."

Swift and Shania Twain opened the awards show in a pre-recorded video parody of Thelma & Louise with a guest cast that included Glee's Chord Overstreet, Kid Rock, Donald Trump, Kenny Rogers and Ron White.

Bieber and Rascal Flatts took the collaborative video award for That Should Be Me. "First of all, I just want to say how honored I am to be here ... with Rascal Flatts," Bieber said. "How amazing are Rascal Flatts, everybody? I want to thank my mom. I want to thank my family. And I want to thank Rascal Flatts for even jumping on the song with me."

Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus said, "Thank you to Justin Bieber for bringing us such a great song...It was an honor to be in this video with you. What a talented guy. We appreciate it so much."

The Band Perry won the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video honor for If I Die Young and the Nationwide Insurance On Your Side Award as country music's best new live act. "Thanks for voting for this award and wrapping your arms around us and this song," Neil Perry told the crowd. "We love y'all. Y'all have made our lives extraordinary."

Shelton, who was in Los Angeles taping the NBC talent competition, The Voice, won the male video prize for Who Are You When I'm Not Looking" and the best web video award for Kiss My Country Ass. "I'm honored that you fans gathered together and voted me male video artist of the year," he said via satellite, adding, "My gosh, I can't believe Shania Twain gave me an award."

Sugarland received duo video honors for Stuck Like Glue. "This is the most fun awards show ever, and we love that the fans get to vote," Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles said. "We have the best fans in the world, and this definitely shows it."

Lady Antebellum's "Hello World" was named group video of the year. "We have the greatest, greatest fans in the world," Hillary Scott said. "Country music fans are the best. We want to thank Roman White, the director of this video."

"We said we wanted to make a Rascal Flatts video," Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley noted. "We want to make people cry, just like every Rascal Flatts video has made me cry."

The Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett won the CMT performance of the year video, a category dedicated to live performances that aired exclusively on CMT. They were honored "Margaritaville", which aired on an episode of CMT Crossroads. "Thanks to all our fans," Brown said. "Thanks so much to Jimmy Buffett and all the folks and all the Parrotheads at Margaritaville."

Twain was walking to the stage to announce the male video winner when she slipped and fell in the aisle. She was unhurt.

Kid Rock began the music with a truncated take of Bawitdaba. He was stopped by Wynonna, and they then played "Till My Dying Day," a hardcore country song penned by Kid Rock that could be on Wynnona's next CD.

Hip-hop star Ludacris joined Jason Aldean on Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem." The Band Perry sang Rihanna's lines on Eminem's Love the Way You Lie and their own You Lie. Lady Antebellum offered their new single, Just a Kiss and Prince's Kiss.

Toby Keith and the Incognito Banditos, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, the Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban and Big & Rich (with Gretchen Wilson all played.

Sugarland were joined onstage by Tiffani and Lexi Gilbert, young sisters from Joplin, Mo., whose home was destroyed during a recent tornado. Nettles gave them a white flag with the word "Love" written on it, they waved it and a smaller flag while the crowd waved similar flags in unison during the song.

More news for Taylor Swift

CD reviews for Taylor Swift

Journey to Fearless DVD
Part Behind The Music style documentary and part concert film, Taylor Swift's new Blu-ray release offers an interesting hybrid approach to the typical live performance video - an approach that hits more than it misses. "Journey To Fearless" focuses on Swift's meteoric rise from aspiring grade-school singer/songwriter to award-winning country and pop megastar while sprinkling in live performances. Hardcore Swift fans will find a lot to love on this single-disc set (which is also »»»
Speak Now CD review - Speak Now
Taylor Swift has made the best CD of her young career with her fourth CD. The biggest difference is that Swift's singing, spotty on previous releases and live performances, is far far superior here. Swift wrote all 14 songs here, which like her other albums tend to deal with relationships that have gone south. Swift's songwriting always has been one of her strengths, and that continues to be the case here - both lyrically and musically. Put simply, Swift knows a lot about penning »»»
Fearless CD review - Fearless
Taylor Swift took the county world by storm with her huge selling debut and its five hit singles. With a huge marketing push and myspace, Swift was on her way. Kind of like an Avril Lavigne for the teen female country set. Sophomore slump? There's no indication of that. Swift once again writes her material - all 13 songs here with help sometimes from Liz Rose, Colbie Caillat and John Rich. Swift writes of what she knows about - relationships and teen love come and gone in songs speak to her fans. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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