Oklahoma country music superstar Toby Keith may not be attending tonight’s CMA Awards in Nashville, but he’s getting a trophy from the Country Music Association anyway.
Winners in two of the 12 CMA Awards categories were announced live on “Good Morning America” from New York’s Times Square this morning. The news was welcomed with cheers from the audience gathered on Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Plaza waiting to watch Oklahoma native Reba McEntire perform, according to a news release.
Hosted for the fifth time by Brad Paisley and Checotah Carrie Underwood, the 46th Annual CMA Awards air from 7 to 10 tonight from the Bridgestone grena on the ABC Television Network.
Keith and director Michael Salomon won the Music Video of the Year category for their viral video smash “Red Solo Cup.”
Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw won the Musical Event of the Year category with their duet “Feel Like A Rock Star.”
Chesney, who is performing on tonight’s show, is the reigning CMA Award winner for Music Video of the Year for “You and Tequila” with Grace Potter. He was nominated for three CMA Awards in 2012 including Entertainer of the Year; Musical Event of the Year for “Feel Like A Rock Star” with McGraw; and Music Video of the Year for “Come Over,” directed by Shaun Silva. If Chesney wins Entertainer of the Year, he’ll take the record for the most wins in the category. Chesney is currently tied with Oklahoma native Garth Brooks, winning the trophy four times in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
McGraw is performing with Faith Hill, Lady Antebellum and Oklahoma native Blake Shelton as part of the Willie Nelson tribute during tonight’s broadcast. He has now received 12 CMA Awards, including the 2001 Entertainer of the Year. This marks the second time McGraw has won a CMA Award for a collaboration with Chesney. The two received CMA Vocal Event of the Year Awards for their work on Tracy Lawrence’s “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” (2007).
Keith has received 28 CMA Award nominations in his career, and this marks his third CMA Award win. The Norman resident was named Male Vocalist of the Year in 2005 and also won Music Video of the Year with Salomon in 2005 for “As Good As I Once Was.” Salomon won Music Video of the Year in 1995 for “Baby Likes To Rock It” with The Tractors.
The winners were announced during the “Good Morning America” broadcast live from Nashville. The program featured musical performances by Reba and an appearance by Paisley announcing the donation of a Chevrolet Traverse to Metro Nashville Public Schools for the new instrument repair facility funded by CMA’s Keep the Music Playing music education campaign.
Keith, an outspoken objector of the Country Music Association’s awards process, made entertainment headlines this week when he told Country Weekly in no uncertain terms that he would skip the CMAs: “Hell no, I ain’t showing up. I gotta go get a root canal that day, or something fun.”
Actually, as I reported today, Keith will be getting an award much closer to home. He, former Oklahoma Gov. George Nigh and wife Donna Nigh have been chosen for the 2012 JFK Community Service Awards.
The Oklahoma City Knights of Columbus Council 1038 established the awards through its Uniting Our Community project in 2007 to recognize Oklahomans who have served the greater community in lasting and meaningful ways.
Former Oklahoma Gov. David Walters and his wife, Rhonda Walters, will host the awards dinner tonight on the 50th floor of the Devon Tower, 280 W Sheridan Ave. Former Oklahoma first lady Kim Henry, 2008 award recipient Barry Switzer and Renzi Stone will present the awards.
To read more about the community service awards, click here, and look for more of my interview with Toby Friday.