Last night’s fan-voted CMT Music Awards (effectively country music’s answer to the MTV Video Awards) didn’t upset any apple carts—no real surprises and no shockers. At the same time, this year’s awards weren’t monopolized by one or two artists, but were spread fairly evenly across the board as the country fans voted, with only two artists taking home more than one buckle for the night.
Who were the two artists? Newcomer duo Florida Georgia Line deservedly took Duo Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year for their smash hit “Cruise” (which, as of today, is still at the top of the Billboard Country chart after breaking in 45 weeks ago). Miranda Lambert, one-half of country’s reigning power couple, was limited to two buckles, as well, winning Female Video of the Year for “Mama’s Broken Heart” and the CMT Performance of the year for “Over You.” (Husband Blake Shelton took only one: Male Video of the Year for “Sure Be Cool If You Did”—which Miranda accepted for him since he was “on a plane” and unable to attend.
Carrie Underwood took the evening’s top honor, with fans awarding her Video of the Year for “Blown Away” (and she did seem, um, blown away). Group Video of the year went to Lady Antebellum for their recent single “Downtown,” which Charles Kelley referred to as an early maternity present for the 8-months-pregnant Hillary Scott.
Of course, for country fans, the music takes center stage, and the 2013 CMT Music Awards telecast was no exception. The evening featured dynamic performances from the likes of Little Big Town, Lady A and Luke Bryan, as well as newcomers Kacey Musgraves and Hunter Hays. The evening also featured the usual (and unusual) collaborative performances–like Jason Aldean/Lenny Kravitz on “American Woman”; Lady A/Darius Rucker on the latter’s currently charting cover of Old Medicine Crow’s “Wagon Wheel”; and Florida Georgia Line teaming with rapper Nelly (WHAT?) to close the show with “Cruise.” Perhaps the most poignant moment, fittingly, came from the evening’s big winner Carrie Underwood, who brought down the house with “See You Again”, dedicated to the recent tornado victims in Underwood’s home state of Oklahoma.
As the CMT Music Awards are voted on by fans, it gives a good indication of the current pulse of country music. And while some names naturally stand above the rest, from the fairly even spread of honors this year, it seems like the fans are happy with most of the artists across the board. Congratulations to this year’s winners.