CMA Awards highlight country’s pop push

The 2014 Country Music Association Awards took place on Nov. 5. Hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood for the seventh consecutive year, it involved a variety of surprising wins and music collaborations. To begin the night, Miranda Lambert joined Meghan Trainor to sing a country-like rendition of Trainor’s hit “All About that Bass,” which was a surprisingly good collaboration between the two singers. With their strong voices and spunky attitudes, the performance was a hit.

After the performance, Paisley and Underwood took the stage with their humorous monologue. They first addressed the “serious” epidemic occurring around the world: Postpartum Taylor Swift Disorder. The duo jokingly claimed that if Swift ever wanted to return to country music, they would kick Blake Shelton out of his seat. During their monologue, Paisley also “accidentally” mentioned that Underwood is pregnant with a baby boy.

Although the “All About that Bass” collaboration was a success, another pop-country crossover between Ariana Grande and Little Big Town was more than disappointing. The group performed a rendition of “Bang Bang” dressed in costumes bordered with lights, which proved Grande should stay away from country music.

A memorable performance of the night was Kacey Musgraves performing country legend Loretta Lynn’s “You’re Lookin’ At Country.” Musgraves aptly covered the song and then Lynn herself surprised viewers and joined Musgraves to finish.

One of the top moments of the evening was when Vince Gill was honored with the Irving Waugh Award of Excellence. He is only the second to win the award, the first being its namesake. Many stars from Keith Urban to James Taylor honored him through a video montage that highlighted his career. Most surprisingly, country superstar Garth Brooks made his first CMA Awards appearance since 2005 to present Gill with the honor.

Lambert dominated the night with four wins including Album of the Year. However, her most shocking win was for Female Vocalist of the Year, her fifth consecutive win for the award. Her husband Shelton followed this path, winning for the fifth year in a row for Male Vocalist of the Year.

Luke Bryan won the night’s most coveted award, Entertainer of the Year. Surprisingly, Bryan has never won a CMA Award, and this high honor is well deserved for his high-energy entertainment and music.

This year’s CMA Awards proved to be most exciting with all of its surprises, while also showing that country music is just as tremendous as ever.