Carrie Underwood is the reigning Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year and is vying to win the title for the second straight year at Sunday’s ACM Awards.
Taylor Swift is the reigning Country Music Association entertainer of the year and is nominated for the ACM entertainer title. (Associated Press file photos)
The 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air live from Vegas at 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS, with Oklahoma native Reba McEntire hosting for the 12th time. Fans can follow along with my live blog of the show here at BAM’s Blog.
This year, the academy has expanded the fan-voted entertainer of the year category to eight rather diverse nominees: Checotah native and 2005 “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood; Norman rabble-rouser Toby Keith; contemporary country sensation Taylor Swift; traditionalist royalty George Strait; Aussie standout Keith Urban; island-loving hitmaker Kenny Chesney; triple-threat Brad Paisley; and Atlanta-based Zac Brown Band. Voting continues into Sunday night on www.VoteACM.com.
These award shows always seem to invite debate about what is “real” country music, particularly since Swift has become a dominate force in the genre. Last fall, George Jones said country-pop stars like Swift and Underwood “have stolen our identity.”
“They had to use something that was established already, and that’s traditional country music. So what they need to do really, I think, is find their own title, because they’re definitely not traditional country music,” Jones told the Associated Press.
On Sunday, we’ll be examining the question “What is country music in 2010″ in much more depth.
In the meantime, what do you think? Should pop-influenced contemporary country be considered country music? Or should it have its “own title,” as The Possum puts it?