Taylor Swift Performs "Begin Again" On CMA Awards

Thursday night’s CMA Awards was without a doubt, a star studded event. With acts like Kelly Clarkson and co-hosts Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley gracing the red carpet and sharing the stage, audiences waited in anticipation for not only the night’s winners, but also the event’s highly anticipated performances. Among them, Taylor Swift.

Performing Begin Again, off her latest release, Red, Swift’s set mimicked the song’s French-inspired music video.

Though Swift did not receive awards for nominations in Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for Safe & Sound with The Civil Wars, she did receive a standing ovation for her performance. Check out the performance right here and let us know-how did she do?


If you like Taylor Swift, check out OurStage artist Ria.

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On November 9, Nashville celebrated itself (again!) with the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. For the fourth consecutive year, the event was hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, but the masters of ceremonies weren’t the only thing that gave me that old deja vu feeling. Hadn’t these accolades already been handed out just a few months ago?

Wait, those were the Country Music Television (CMT) Music Awards in June. And before that, there were the Academy of Country Music Awards. And, just in case that’s not enough Music City honors for you, there are the 2nd annual American Country Awards coming up on December 5.

Pop and R&B are just as self-congratulatory, offering the MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Europe Music Awards, the Billboard Awards, the American Music Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, the BET Awards, the BET Hip Hop Awards, the NAACP Image Awards and the Soul Train Music Awards.

Then, of course, there are the GRAMMYs, which following so many other back-slapping fests, have been losing their lustre for years now”though that’s hardly the only reason. Winning one used to be the musical equivalent of snagging an Oscar, but now its just more clutter for the awards shelf.

In a few weeks (November 30, to be exact), the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will announce the nominees for the 2012 GRAMMY Awards (to be held on February 12). Doesn’t it already feel like we’ve been there and done that over and over and over already this year? Am I the only one who doesn’t doubt that we’re in for another repeat of The Adele Show, with a very special appearance by Lady Gaga. Good as it is, like Christmas, I only need to sit through it once a year.


Your Country's Right Here: Lauren Alaina Blossoms with ‘Wildflower’

Lauren Alaina has turned her hometown of Rossville, GA., about 10 minutes south of Chattanooga, TN., into a tourist attraction.

Yes, the sixteen-year-old runner up on American Idol, who won praise from none other than judge Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, still lives in her hometown with her parents J.J. and Kristy Suddeth and attends high school there. Just don’t expect to see her working at CiCi, the pizza parlor where she held a part-time job before she became a professional recording artist. With her debut album Wildflower blasting up the charts to No. 2 so far, Alaina isn’t in need of the job.

I just looked at a house with my parents, said Alaina. We are having to move because the house I live in now we moved into when I was like four years old. We didn’t have a lot of stuff and we’ve collected a lot of stuff. This house [we’re considering] is big. It’s got three stories and it has a pool. That would be fun!

The smart money bets that Alaina is just beginning a life full of fun now that her singing talent has been discovered. Although she’s one of the youngest contestants ever toappear on American Idol, critics note Alaina sings with a maturity reminiscent of one-time Idol contestants Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson before her.

Although such success would turn some people’s heads, Alaina seemed very grounded, chatting about how nervous she was thinking of her upcoming road test for her driver’s license. But, she said, even if she passed she wouldn’t be driving the new Ford Mustang that she won for placing second on American Idol.

I’ll be driving my mom’s 2011 Kia Sorrento, said Alaina of her vehicle of choice, at least for now, because she doesn’t want to damage the powerful Mustang. We’re actually going to switch cars for a while.



OSBlog02_CCE_MASTERThis year, on November 11, the Country Music Association will present the best of the best of 2009  at their annual awards show. At their 43rd show, the nominees are unprecedented in talent, presence and success. With 11 different categories, and nearly 20 performances, its safe to say this year will be unmatched in star power. Narrowing down an entire year’s worth of country to just 5 nominees in each category seems difficult, so picking just 1winner from the cream of the crop is nearly an impossible task. The challenge will be daunting, but I hope I’ll do the Association proud with my picks for Best New Artist, Album of the Year and the coveted Entertainer of the Year awards.

He's definitely my favorite new artist

He's definitely my favorite new artist

It’s exciting to imagine what a few more years of experience can do for raw talent. And in the case of the CMA Awards, winning Best New Artist is as good as a one-way ticket to superstardom. Previously known as the Horizon Award, winners in the past include Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood. And, like most years, the 2009 nominees pack some stiff competition. Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker and The Zac Brown Band comprise this year’s nominees, and to be honest, any one of these nominees could take home the prize. However, with his first 3 country singles reaching Number 1, it seems that Darius Rucker walking away with Best New Artist is a no brainer. Not only has Darius taken a huge risk in crossing over from pop-rock band Hootie and the Blowfish to a solo country career, but he also took a gamble in entering a genre that has not had an African American success story since Charley Pride in the 80s. Darius isn’t just a shoe-in for Best New Artist against rookies in the business, he has also been nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year against heavy hitter veterans like Kenny Chesney and George Strait.

Album of the Year is always a sticky category to predict. You must take record sales, critical reviews,and even overall content and message into consideration. Each nominee for 2009’s Album of the Year has something to offer.

Album of the Year

Album of the Year

Jamey Johnson’s That Lonesome Song and Sugarland’s Love on the Inside are both winners in lyrical content and variety of songs; Defying Gravity from Keith Urban had successful sales, and numerous Top 10 hits. However, it is a close call between Brad Paisley’s American Saturday Night and Taylor Swift‘s Fearless. Both have received rave reviews from critics, and done amazingly well in a dying market of buying full albums. Paisley has taken a big departure from his usual superficial, often comical approach to songwriting in this album, and Swift has been acclaimed as one of the best songwriters Nashville has seen in decades. The difference, however, is the unexpected and unprecedented success of Swift over the last year. Her Fearless album was the biggest selling CD in any genre for the entire year, and, coupled with its record breaking digital downloads, it seems as though Album of the Year is in the bag for 19-year-old Swift. Swift has exposed country music to an entire new audience through this album in a way no other artist has been able to achieve before.

King of Entertainment

King of Entertainment

Entertainer of the Year has been a hot topic in Nashville recently. In the years past, Kenny Chesney was the man to beat. But, after the Academy of Country Music dethroned him this year in favor of Carrie Underwood, his hold on the title seemed questionable. However, I stand by Kenny’s star power, and am giving my Entertainer of the Year pick to Mr. Chesney. Other nominees include Brad Paisley, George Strait, Keith Urban and Taylor Swift. While all are undeniably the best musicians on country radio, I can’t help but firmly believe in Kenny’s entertainment value. His summer concert series sell out entire football stadiums, the tickets sell out within minutes. Year after year, Kenny delivers the concert of the year, and he did not let fans down in 2009. Yes, the other nominees produce platinum selling albums, sing Number 1 singles and lead gaggles of loyal fans, but Kenny adds something they can’t: his best-selling, stadium rocking, impossible to forget concerts. And because of this undeniable fact, it seems improbable that anyone else will be stealing his crown as King of Country Entertainment.

November 11 will be a day celebrate country royalty, and I for sure will be a loyal subject tuning in. It is certain to be a night full of great music, great people and great work being rewarded.

Do you agree with BethanyS and her picks for the CMA Awards? Let us know!