The 2011 CMT Music Video Awards brought out just about every style of music imaginable for the annual awarding of the best videos in country music. In fact, there was so much non-country or marginal country or non-traditional country at the CMT awards ceremony in Nashville Wednesday evening that it was difficult to tell it was a country music awards show at all. And if not for Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert and a few other nominees, the awards would have all went to those other “non-traditionalist” country artists.
Bad enough that Taylor Swift won Video of the Year with “Mine,” a song that is pure pop and not one beer-drop of country. Then Lady Antebellum, who has yet to make a song sound more country than twangy elevator music, won for “Hello World.” And the only thing country about Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue” is Jennifer Nettles’ over-the-top red-dirt Georgia hick accent.
But the overriding shame of the 2011 CMT Music Video Awards has to be the handing over of the Collaborative Video of the Year trophy to Justin Bieber. In fact, the shame should go to the selection committee for allowing a pop song into the nomination list. Bieber was nominated in the category by having Rascal Flatts guest on his pure pop “That Should Be Me.” But there is nothing country about the song at all.
Quick aside: Remember a few years back at one of the country music awards shows, after Shania Twain finished one of her pop-country tunes in her hot pink shorts-and-tux set, and Waylon Jennings stepped up to present the next award and said, “If that’s country music, then I’m a Mongolian fighter pilot”? The late legendary Mr. Jennings might have added something about his lineage tracing back to Genghis Khan after Wednesday night…
Still, the night wasn’t a complete loss. There were still enough trophies to give out to artists that still performed music that could still be recognized as country music. Blake Shelton won Male Video of the Year (for “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking”) and Best Web Video of the Year (“Kiss My Country Ass”). His wife of less than a month, Miranda Lambert, pulled in Female Video of the Year (for “The House That Built Me”). The Band Perry took home the soft and vaguely bluegrass-reminescent “If I Die Young” for Breakthrough Video of the Year. And Zac Brown Band won the CMT Performance of the Year for their collaboration with Jimmy Buffett on “CMT Crossroads” for their rendition of the classic “Margaritaville.”
It is a common cyclical event in country music that sees a pop infusion into the genre every so often that lasts a few years, followed by a pushback effect of classic or traditional-sounding country music. With all the pop in modern country music, it would appear that it is time for a changing of the cycle…
2011 CMT Music Video Awards Winners
Video of the Year
“Mine,” Taylor Swift
Male Video of the Year
“Who Are You When I’m Not Looking,” Blake Shelton
Female Video of the Year
“The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert
Group Video of the Year
“Hello World,” Lady Antebellum
Duo Video of the Year
“Stuck Like Glue,” Sugarland
Breakthrough Video of the Year
“If I Die Young,” The Band Perry
Collaborative Video of the Year
“That Should Be Me,” Justin Bieber ft. Rascal Flatts
CMT Performance of the Year
“Margaritaville,” Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett
Best Web Video of the Year (new category)
“Kiss My Country Ass,” Blake Shelton
Director of the Year
Trey Fanjoy for Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” and Blake Shelton’s “Who Were You When I’m Not Looking”
CMT is available via satellite and through cable providers in the Myrtle Beach area. Check local listings for the specific channel designations.