Archive for Monday, May 19, 2008

Chesney criticizes award voting

May 19, 2008


ACM winners

Entertainer of the year: Kenny Chesney

Top male vocalist: Brad Paisley

Top female vocalist: Carrie Underwood

Top vocal group: Rascal Flatts

Top vocal duo: Brooks & Dunn

Top new male vocalist: Jack Ingram

Top new female vocalist: Taylor Swift

Top new duo or vocal group: Lady Antebellum

Album of the year: "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," Miranda Lambert

Single record of the year: "Stay," Sugarland

Song of the year: "Stay," Sugarland (Jennifer Nettles, composer)

Video of the year: "Online," Brad Paisley (Jason Alexander, director)

Vocal event of the year: "Find Out Who Your Friends Are," Tracy Lawrence with Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney

— Kenny Chesney won entertainer of the year for a fourth straight time Sunday, then promptly took issue with the way the Academy of Country Music awarded the honor: through fan votes.

For the first time in the show's 43 years, the top prize - traditionally decided by ACM members - was determined through online voting. With the win, Chesney ties Garth Brooks and trails only Alabama, which won five in a row.

Chesney said immediately backstage that he thought fans should be included, just not by voting for the show's most important award.

"The entertainer of the year trophy is supposed to represent heart and passion and an amazing amount of sacrifice, commitment and focus," he said. "That's the way Garth won it four times, that's the way I won it, that's the way (George) Strait won it, Reba (McEntire), Alabama all those years. That's what it's supposed to represent."

He said his complaint is directed at the industry, not the fans - and that the method amounted to "complete disrespect" of the artists, saying the academy turned the award "into a sweepstakes to see who can push people's buttons the hardest on the Internet."

Chesney was the night's leading nominee with 11, and ended up winning twice. His other win was for vocal event of the year for his work on the Tracy Lawrence hit "Find Out Who Your Friends Are."

Brad Paisley won top male vocalist, his second in a row.

Carrie Underwood also took home her second consecutive female vocalist trophy.

"I know I don't deserve it, but I'll take it," Underwood said. "Fans got me everything I have, and I owe everything to you."

It was a night of repeats. Rascal Flatts' top vocal group win was its sixth in a row, while Brooks & Dunn won their 13th straight award for top vocal duo.

Miranda Lambert won album of the year and Sugarland took single record and song of the year honors for their mellow hit "Stay."

"I'm sitting right behind Kenny Chesney and I just don't feel right taking this," said Lambert, who won for her sophomore outing, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." "I'm a songwriter, and I poured my heart and soul into this album. Thank you for appreciating it."

Jack Ingram won top new male vocalist. The 37-year-old Texan released his first album in 1992 and bounced around a number of record labels before his career took off.

Lady Antebellum took home top new duo or vocal group.

Taylor Swift won top new female vocalist. The 18-year-old thanked her mother for going on the road with her beginning when she was 16, leaving behind a comfortable life to sleep in rental cars and on airplanes so her teenage daughter could pursue her dream.

"Mom, thank you so much," she said as she fought back tears. "I love you. This is for you."

Brooks received the ACM's Crystal Milestone Award and did a medley of his hits that included "The Thunder Rolls," "Friends in Low Places" and "More Than a Memory."


Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 10 years ago

Bet the fans don't vote for Chesney next year.

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