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Against The Grain by: Andy Sullivan

The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards was held Sunday, April 1. They kicked off with Carrie Underwood performing her brand new hit “Good Girl”. After a humorous introduction, including some playful jabs, by co-hosts Blake Shelton and Reba, they introduced Nashville Star alum Chris Young who sang his song “Save Water, Drink Beer”.  Zac Brown Band then performed their latest hit, “Keep Me In Mind”. Those guys were awesome! They always put on a solid performance.

LL Cool J introduced Keith Urban, who performed his song “For You” from the movie Act of Valor; great song with great meaning.  The first award of the night, Song of the Year, was presented to Eli Young Band for “Crazy Girl”.  Co-host Blake Shelton then performed his latest hit “Drink On It”.  I think this song sounds a little like something the late Conway Twitty would’ve recorded.  Ironically, right after Blake’s performance, Miranda Lambert received Album of the Year for her smash Four The Record. She also received Female Vocalist of the Year awrd. It should be noted that the presenter for this award, Ashton Kutcher, did a “eh” job in his cowboy hat trying to sing George Strait’s “Cross My Heart”. Miranda was not impressed.  She voiced her displeasure in interviews after, so I hear.

Little Big Town was introduced to perform their new song “Here’s Hope”.  The opening and closing lines were the first and last lines of the John Lennon classic “Imagine”. Next, Jason Aldean performed “Fly Over States”. Now for the “What and why” part of the show, Kiss presented Lady A with Vocal Group of the Year.  One of my favorites, Eric Church, would then perform his new song “Springsteen”.  Single of the Year was then presented to Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson for “Don’t You Wanna Stay”. 

Brad Paisley played another of my favorites, “Camouflage”.  Band Perry presented Scotty McCreary, last year’s American Idol winner, with the New Artist of the Year award.  That kid has come a long way in 12 months! The hosts paid tribute to the late Earl Scruggs, as did Rascall Flatts w/Steve Martin by playing the Flatts new song “Banjo”. 

Toby Keith performed “Red Solo Cup”.  The audience was flanked by lovely ladies and (not so lovely) guests including Carrot Top. Sara Evans sang her cover of Rod Stewart’s “My Heart Won’t Tell You No”.  Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw sang the first single off KC’s new album called “Rockstar”. 

Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth(why?) introduced Zac Brown Band performing “Whisky’s Gone”, with special guest Brad Paisley.  Brad even sported the wool skull cap just like Zac.  I know the wool skull cap is Zac’s calling card, but doesn’t his head burn up at outdoor summer shows? Just a thought I had.

U2 lead singer Bono introduced Dierks Bentley performing his hit “Home”, another great song.  Country music has really been hitting it out of the park lately with great tunes. Luke Bryan performed “I Don’t Want This Night To End”. Ironically, it was about to do just that.  Taylor Swift presented the Male Vocalist award to Blake Shelton. I’d say there was a party in the Shelton-Lambert house Sunday night! Lionel Ritchie presented the final award, Entertainer of the Year, to Taylor Swift.  Moments later he and Blake performed Lionel’s classic “You Are” from Lionel’s Tuskegee album, available in stores and on i-tunes.

This year’s ACM’s were definitely filled with buzzed about moments as well as awards.  I was glad to see Miranda and Blake get recognized.  Awards shows can be hit-or-miss.  On a whole, this was a hit as far as I’m concerned.

Hello, my name is Andy Sullivan. I received my bachelor’s degree in business from Mid-Continent University in May 2009. I began writing for Beech Tree News in July 2009.  I enjoy playing guitar, the occasional Wii game, writing, and listening to music. I write a sports blog that can be found at If you have a comment, feel free to leave it in the space below.

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