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CMT AwardsNashville plays host and home to numerous celebrities from all realms of entertainment.  From country music to Hollywood, Music City has them all. But the 2010 CMT Awards inundated the city with an unlikely collection of celebrities. Notables to grace the red carpet included Snooki and the Situation from MTV’s Jersey Shore, NFL superstar Terrell Owens, celebrity chef Paula Dean, Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson, actress Hayden Panettiere, and NASCAR legend Richard Petty.  

The awards show, which began with an electric performance by Kid Rock, also featured performances by Trace Adkins, Zac Brown, Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler, and Hank Williams Jr., was hosted by Kid Rock, who smoked a fat cigar on stage and provided some interesting and improvised commentary at times, including asking Sheryl Crow to have his child.   

But the night was not about him, it was about the artists and the winners of the coveted CMT Buckle. Carrie Underwood was the big winner, taking home two awards, the  CMT Performance of the Year for her rendition of “Temporary Home” on CMT’s Invitation Only: Carrie Underwood and the Video of the Year for “Cowboy Cassanova”.  Miranda Lambert took home the award for Female Video of the Year with “White Liar”, pulling an upset as she was up against Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood.  Group Video of the Year went to Lady Antebellum for “Need You Now”. And even on the brink of retirement, Brooks and Dunn still wrangled in Duo Video of the year for “Indian Summer”. 

CMT Awards

The show was also punctuated by brief interludes of humor. Perhaps the best was a surprise appearance by Kenan Thompson, known for his shows on Nickelodeon as a child and now a presence on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. On the sketch comedy show, Thompson plays a recurring role as “Reba” in which he dons a red-haired wig and 80’s style dress that the country singer made famous. During the CMT’s, when Reba was supposed to come out to present an award, Thompson came out, instead, dressed in a green ball gown and the signature locks. Within ten seconds, the real Reba walked on stage and interrupted him, sending the stadium into pandemonium. They then presented the award together.

More entertainment came after the awards, however, in the Press Room with the stars.  Dish had the opportunity to listen to what they had to say about winning awards, their careers, and (most importantly) their fans, first hand.  

 

The first artist we heard from was Kix Brooks, who talked a lot about he and Ronnie Dunn’s splitting up of their hugely successful duo Brooks and Dunn. He also joked about how that night was first time in 20 years that he didn’t know where the obviously absent Dunn even was. “Yeah, it’s funny. It’s so cool. I went to James Stroud’s house one time, and Paul Simon was there. The first thing he said when I walked in the door, he goes, ‘Where’s Ronnie?’ And I looked at him and he started laughing and I said, “Aren’t you sick of people asking where Garfunkel is?”  

CMT Awards
Asked what they were going to do next he said, “Well, you know, we both have kind of been solo artists inside our albums all along, except for the songs we wrote together.  I mean, Ronnie and I have a lot of common ground, basically.  We’ll keep making music, that’s what we do.  And I don’t think what either one of us do in the future is - I wouldn’t imagine being a huge departure from what we’ve done in the past. And kinda, we just sorta do whatever that is, that’s the kinda music we make and I don’t think we’re gonna do anything that’s hugely jazz or hip hop… I’d be real surprised if we tour again together though. But it wouldn’t be out of the realm to write some songs and make another project down the road, somewhere.  We don’t hate each other or anything.  We just need a break.”

 

Next, the gorgeous Carrie Underwood appeared, who talked glowingly about her upcoming June marriage [which, by the way has subsequently been postponed to later in the summer]. “I don’t know, I mean we’re still working on everything. But I’ll tell you after - I haven’t been to too many weddings, so I guess I don’t have much to compare it to.  I guess the unique thing will be who we invite.  I’ve never been married before!” 

CMT Awards

She added, “Everybody has been so nice to [Hockey Player] Mike [Fisher], and welcomed him and…he was talking to Brad Paisley earlier and he was like, “Let’s go hang out!” Everybody has been super nice, not that I expected anything different ‘cause I know the people I’m around.

She also gave a big shout-out to her fans, “They’ve made me, and I know they’ve made all of us, because of course we couldn’t do anything Nobody would play our stuff or come see us in concert and they’re what drives us. But for me it’s a little bit different, because they were there before I had anything—before I had an album, before I had a record deal, before I had, you know, a tour going on. They made me from THE ground up…They’re just family and they work harder than any of us.”

 

Though Underwood may be a hard act to follow, when you’re Keith Urban, who had a duet with John Mayer and took home Male Video of the Year for “Til Summer Comes Around”, you’re definitely man enough for the job. Not too surprisingly, he talked about his wife Nicole [Kidman] and her opinion of country music.

 

He explained, “She has no history of country at all, so it’s been great to get her into it. Not long after we started dating, I went to the record store and I bought the Best of Waylon Jennings album and I played her “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way”. I put it in there amongst a bunch of other discs, but I just let that one play first. That was her first real taste of it. From there she has gotten into the Zac Brown Band and she loves Miranda [Lambert].

 

He also talked about the inspiration he gets from watching award shows,

 

“Live music always does that for me. I want to write songs immediately. You are immersed in great songs with great songwriters. Kid Rock having a show like this, it is kind of inspiring.”

 

CMT Awards
Speaking of Kid Rock, he also had a lot to talk about after the show.  When asked if he would ever release a country album, he responded firmly, “Never. Maybe I’ll put out a compilation number of the stuff  I’ve had country success with, but doing one thing in life at any point—when I love so many different things—it just kind of seems boring and contrived for me.”

 

On his ability hosting the CMTs, “Uhhh, how would I rate it? Uhh XXX?  I thought it was pretty good. My main thing is I wanted to come in and put the stuff they had written on the teleprompter into my own words, and maybe find some points that say what I feel and be real about it. But I didn’t want to be disrespectful at any moment… I hope I just set the tone for everyone to have fun.  And really keep it about the music.”

 

And finally, he shared some insight into his new album, which sounds pretty interesting. “I just finished a record with [famed producer] Rick Rubin and he really made us focus on the songs, which I always thought I was doin’ but apparently I wasn’t.  Instead, I was talkin’ about myself being a cowboy and a badass, which he pointed out very prolifically.  This record, when I kind of finished it, and me and my guy finished writing it, we saw spots where we could do another song with Sheryl [Crow]. So we got a great song with Sheryl Crow.  I think I have the most odd pair-up ever with Martina McBride and T.I. I’m still scratching my head about that one.  Zac Brown finished a song with me.  Trace Adkins is on a song singing like this (really low).  Bob Seger is playing piano on the song that me and Sheryl did.  He’s my hero, so I was really excited about that.”

CMT Awards

But the surprise hit pairing of the evening was not even a nominee, nor a country singer.  She is the star of MTV’s Jersey Shore and she is known worldwide as Snooki. And he also stars on Jersey Shore, is ripped and glad to pull up his shirt to prove it, and is known as The Situation.  Commenting on why they were at a country music awards show at all, all Snooki had to say was:

“I love Tim McGraw, I met him and he is amazing. He is really hot in person. Pretty much, like I said, I am a closet country fan. My parents love country and I just love the music. It makes me feel good. They always have a story line to it. Even though I can’t fist pump to it, I still love it. I had an amazing time. This is the best award show that I have ever been to.”

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 112 - September 6418
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