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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.

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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
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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: LSD tour provides a lot of highs – This was not your grandkids' country, that's for sure. Even the name of the tour - the LSD Tour - was a throwback (albeit far before the principals were making music). But make no mistake about it. With the ever cool country traditionalist Dwight Yoakam, the country with some rock and blues and rabble rousing of Steve Earle thrown in and the... »»»
Concert Review: Alvin, Gilmore fortunately get together – Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore had known each other for decades, but it wasn't until last year that they toured together in a guitar pull setting. What started as a small Texas tour mushroomed into points east and west and eventually the release earlier this month of their blues-based disc, "Downey to Lubbock." And now we have the... »»»
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