Tuesday, 15 November 2011

CMA Awards 2011: Red carpet

CMA Awards 2011: Red carpet

How the night panned out as Associated Press reporters talk to the country stars live on the red carpet on Country Music's Big night
(Links shown in red to photo images – AP/Getty) 
Reba McEntire one of many stars to
sign the Cheverolet Camaro

The day before the CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley performed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” (Tuesday, Nov. 8 , 2011) and was the first to sign the hood of a Chevrolet Camaro to be auctioned off to benefit CMA’s music education campaign Keep the Music Playing. Celebs strolling the red carpet were asked to autograph a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro convertible. The two-year partnership between Chevy and CMA for the cause was highlighted during a segment of the awards show featuring students from Nashville School of the Arts.
CMA Live Stream screenshot Lady A meet Lionel!

Red Carpet Highlights: Lionel Richie chats it up with Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert on the red carpet of the 2011 CMAs.
The Associated Press's (AP) Entertainment reportors  Alicia Quarles (wearing BCBG by Max Azria)  and Caitlin King (wearing dress by French Connection) also interview Faith Hill and Glen Campbell. (YouTube Video)
James Wesley who as one the opening acts for Taylor Swift on her North American tour dates said:
Been in front of that many fans ,Oh ,you can’t buy that. It was amazing, the one’s who went on tour with Taylor Swift she wanted us to be out there with her. So that was pretty cool to get that call from management to say that she hand picked the artists she wanted to go out with. And for me to be one of those and be out there with her – That was awesome, yeah

Katie Armiger – Said she was most looking to see Faith Hill and had a little preview going to a party at her house.

Describing what the CMA’s means to him Tracy Lawrence said “There is so much that goes on behind the scenes with media and stuff. Its very much a crash week. Getting dressed up to come out on a date tonight was just wonderful. We don’t get time to go out much. We have children, so just to be able to get together and see our friends that we don’t see very much I get excited about seeing a lot of folks tonight. He said he was looking forward to seeing Kenny (Chesney) – “I always love seeing him on stage

This week Eli Young Band scored its first number one on the Billboard Country Songs chart with their single ‘Crazy Girl’- “It feels great, it’s the biggest week of our lives to experience this at the CMA Awards , we feel pretty good.  Everything we have done over the last 11 years has been baby steps and I think this song has changed everything for us. We are thankful that this song has gone along and done what it’s done”. Were on the Dierks Bentley tour right now. It’s amazing the feeling when they sing it back to us so loud and there so passionate about it, its had to replicate
AP asked them to give a quick synopsis what it’s like to be on the red carpet  - “This is like a dream come true for us, we’ve always wanted to do this for a living. Walking the red carpet is like a surreal moment for anyone and when you reach a certain point in your career and it’s here then its eye opening and a pinch yourself moment for sure” (photo)

“Your looking smashing tonight” AP said spotting  Easton Corbin . Speaking about his jacket he said “I think you can call it Mossimo? , I’m excited about tonight, it’s fun” We had the fortunate pleasure this year to go out on tour with Rascal Flatts which was great and get exposed to a wide variety of audience. We’ve been working in the studio on a record and it could be the first of the year
CMA Live Stream screenshot Scotty McCreery First CMA!
 AP asked Scotty McCreery what’s the bigger deal singing at the World Series or being here at the CMA red carpet?
Scotty – “Oh my goodness , I’ve got to say the red carpet. Music is my life now, it’s what I wanted to do growing up. I’m getting starstruck just looking at all these people along the line, its crazy”.
What’s next for him? 
 I’m going out on tour with Brad Paisley in January so that will be a big deal for me” As for the American Idol fans who voted for him Scotty said “Thanks a bunch, they are the reason I’m here, they voted me through, so we’ll stay connected because of that, thank you so much!

As an artist my friend tells us about the preparations and the parties you went to? Alicia Quarles asked breakthrough newcomer Hunter Hayes. He said this week he is more calm than he was expecting –“We just got off the Fall tour right now and got to fly back from our show on Sunday, which was a blast. I did a bunch of radio remotes going from one radio station to another. It’s weird cos it’s all people you see and it’s all people you know because they’re from different areas. I should be in Chicago or Virginia but I’m not, I’m in Nashville and its weird but its cool
The next night Hunter was due to play on the Jimmy Fallon Late Night Show in NY to perform his hit "Storm Warning" backed by The Roots – “We’re going to do a little bit different arrangement which I’m really excited about” Regarding the CMA’s Hunter said “This is like my Super Bowl, this is what I used to watch at home, everyone gather round you don’t accept phone, calls you turn phones off, you watch the CMA awards. You see every artist in country music and other artists in other genres – It’s a BIG moment. I see guys I’m a big fan of and you wouldn’t think they’d recognize me

We need a fashion shot here said Caitlin King reffering to Jana Kramer’s outfit (photo), Can you tell us what your wearing and why you love it she asked.
Jana said : “I’m wearing Mandalay, these litlle gems on here are so much fun and I’m wearing David Yurman? diamonds, so I feel like a little princess all dressed up”. Jana is one of the stars in young adult TV drama “One Tree Hill” and is starting out as a country music singer and has been able to premier some of her songs on the TV show. “It was really neat to have art imitate life” she said. “It’s surreal I didn’t think it would have that much of an impact. Nashville is home and that’s where I’m sticking around” Jana is able to balance both acting and the music with a track ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’ on the new Footloose soundtrack, a track whom her producer Scott Hendricks suggested. In interview Julianne Hough said she liked Jana’s version more than Deniece Williams – “I was like WOW!, I couldn’t believe it, it’s great I’m so excited” said Jana.

Actress and the “Drop On By” country singer Laura Bell Bundy was clad in a sparkly silver leotard with a bright purple wrap as she worked the arrivals area and did a fashion shot and a swirl for AP. “It’s Sherri Hill its breezy, sexy and elegant at the same time I like it” said Laura who was pre-hosting the show when some of the awards like Best Musician, Best Video and radio stations are given out before the main event.  php

Laura’s country friend and recording artist David Nail said of her “She quite a hoot as it is. I always tend to be around her. She’s so witty and I try to keep a couple of steps ahead of her – She’s a hard one to handle, she’s very bossy and a great personality and a lot of fun” David has a new album due to drop on Tues Nov 13, 2011 called “The Sound Of A Million Dreams” – “It’s been a year and a halve in the making, it contains”Let It Rain” our song now. It’s a lot different than the first record and I hope people will be pleasantly surprised” he spills.

Former Alabama member Mark Herndon taliking of his CMA memories said “It’s on-going, it’s not like it’s over. I like seeing old friends and new friends. I’m moving forward with my career now, Alabama has moved on to do their thing. Currently I’m touring and performing with a new artist (Leah Seawright?) who happens to be with me tonight. Were in the process of recording our sophomore album and touring the US and Canada this year, I’m real excited

Justin Moore (photo) jokingly said “Blake(Shelton) is a pervert, for one he tried to make out with me last night, his beer was disgusting. I’m now not thinking of going out with on tour in January like I was planning on doing” I like your cowboy boots AP pointed out to him (see snake boots) . Apparently Jason’s wife told him not to wear the others (whatever they were!)

It was dress up time for trio Edens Edge.
Hannah Blaylock was wearing an elegant  black gown and “TaraDiana Warner Earrings . Cherrill Green was showing off her long legs (photo)  , Dean Berner was dressed in a Hugo Boss suit. The group have been on tour with Reba McEntire –“She is such an amazing person, what you see is what you get, she’s such a great example for us to look up too and she made us feel so welcome on the tour. She’s hilarious, personable and loving - We’ve been on the Reba tour, that’s for real!” said Hannah. Eden’s Enge have a new single out called “Amen” and hopefully an album in 2012.

James Otto brought out a picture (on his phone) of his little baby girl who has musical aspirations at just 18 months. James said his grandfather and dad were both musicians. He would watch his dad around the campfire and asked him if he could teach him chords. “Once I discovered guitar that’s exactly what I wanted to do” said James.

Rodney Atkins said “The cool thing is the way that downtown Nashville just pops on a CMA night. Everyone’s playing everywhere downtown it’s going to be a great night”. It was a honour for him to meet Glen Campbell and artists like that made him want to chase the dream and move to Nashville. He described how he listened to Campbells music as a kid growing playing his parents vinyl records over and over - “They are so song driven, song savvy with the way they approached songs. The first time you hear the songs you want to listen to them again they touch you in a way you don’t even realise”. Rodney has been out on tour the last couple of months with Darius Rucker and speaking of him he said “He’s so down to earth the success he has had is no surprise when you get to know him – He’s a real guy , just authentic”. Caitlin  King from AP recently did a story on Rodney who came forward to speak about adoption. Atkins was adopted as a tot and didn’t have any strike with his birth family and he met with his birth mother in Nashville in 2008 (story).
Shawna Thompson on her first red carpet sported a very different look to one I had been familiar with. She now has black hair and wore a daring draped gown. For Thompson Square they were up for their first 2 CMA Awards. "It is every good emotion you could have. It’s a combination of years and years of work and blood sweat and tears. Being nominated is just ridiculous” said Keifer Thompson. Asked if they were nervous Shawna said: “Reba’s (McEntire) going to sitting right there so that’s gonna mess me up  
For John Oates (of Hall & Oates fame) he was a “CMA Virgin” with his first appearance and he said he didn’t have to do anything so he could chill and enjoy it.

Randy Owen of Alabama spoke of giving back to charity, something that was raised with collaborator Brad Paisley in his new book. “We started off several years ago hosting Jim Jam and that was the largest outdoor country music event for 16 years” he said. “Very much like the tornado show in Birmingham Alabama in recent weeks when so many great entertainers came down and performed. Able to give something back. Music’s been so good to us and we get the chance to give something back

Chris Young was looking sharp and as cool as a cucumber despite being due to perform – “I really like this suit a lot so it makes me feel cool for a little while. I’m excited about the nomination especially the performance. I grew up in Nashville so to be on that stage performing and not watching from the audience is a good feeling” he relates. Chris had been out with Jason Aldean all summer so the night provided an opportunity to met up with other artists. “I’ve had my record deal for 6 years and (laughs) I’m now ready for Artist of the Year category, so it’s the last time

Darius Rucker was due to perform a medley with Lionel Richie –“It’s gonna be awesome” he said. When he was in the studio to record a duet for Richie’s album we heard Lionel handed him a lyric sheet and Darius said “I laughed, I don’t need lyrics I’ve been singing them my whole life. I’d been preparing for that moment my whole life and didn’t even know it. I don’t need lyrics I’m good, that was a great day”

Sara Evans, wearing a gown said she normally likes to show her legs – “But I thought this dress was so beautiful and it’s a very special night and so I felt I should be a little more formal” she spilled. There with her husband Jay Barker they have seven children—all from previous relationships. Evans said they love their children all the same. “Raise your children with laughter and it makes for a very happy household” said Sara.

Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman both choose to wear gowns by Lorena Sarbu.They also had a performance due with Lionel Richie –“We’re going to be this close to passing out, were singing ‘Deep River Woman’. Lionel’s been the most generous and amazing person to work with. He’s everything you’d expect an International superstar to be, and he’s exactly that. He’s wonderful ah ah” they shared.

Sugarland’s Christian Bush had some fun pinching the AP prompt cards and asked them the questions. To get serious AP asked them this year if its all been about resilience after the Indiana stage collapse causing 7 deaths and 40 injurys. Jennifer Nettles said “It’s been more about the fans than anything else. I think this year in all of its ways underscored and punctuated that better than anything. They’ve been great and supported us and we love them” After a 2 year tour Christian said “ After the first year we were playing music nobody had ever heard and then the second year all our fans learned the words from the record so they sing all our songs back to us. In a time of need there is nothing like having a song sung back to you” Jennifer compared the carpet as “A bag Of cats, it’s just a wild electric energy”.  Lionel Richie duets  "Hello" with Jennifer Nettles on his country album –“I just love it, he is a legend in the music business and a wonderful songwriter and a great singer” she shared.

CMA Live Stream screenshot
Lady A , Lionel Richie and Miranda Lambert meet up!
 Oh My gosh, oh my goodness, it’s such an honour to meet you” said a startled and awestruck Hillary Scott when she clapped eyes on Lionel Richie. “We’re not used to big stars like you” said Lady A’s Charles Kelly. “The beautiful part about it is in this business the word career means everything – They’re (Lady Antebellum) are on their way” spoke Lionel Richie.
The advice from Lionel was “One hit record at a time and enjoy the ride that’s all it is”.  Miranda Lambert joined the happy throng and they discuss her husband’s (Blake Shelton) opening cut of  “You Are" with Lionel – “He has a big voice” . Regarding Hillary’s forthcoming wedding Lionel’s advice was “It’s your day, that’s all you got to remember. There is going to be relatives, aunts, uncles everybodies got their opinions of what your day is about. Make sure it’s your day. As a couple it’s all about you, I mean that” . Hillary –“thank  you”
I forget to eat and was starvin’ “ Miranda said concerning hers. “I drink a lot though, so did you” she spills pointing to Charles Kelly who apparently almost ruined her wedding. “It’s the most fun wedding I’ve ever been too. I actually did some hit songs Karaoke, I’m serious, I did Dancin’ On The Ceiling” said Charles. “You mean I was there” quips Lionel. I think in every wedding your there said AP –“Thank God, that’s encouraging, every wedding” says Lionel. It looks like a new super group is on its way with this red carpet commardarie.

That day Miranda found out her album had gone #1 the fourth in her career to debut at the top. “Now I get to celebrate it at the CMA’s. It’s my birthday tomorrow I’ll be 28. My husband got me diamond earings” Looking stunning in her gown she thought she had made it now. She said she is too busy for babies right now – “I don’t want to raise a baby on a tour bus” she said.

The Band Perry had a #1 Adult Contemporary record and did a happy dance that is kept under lock and key but they planned on having some cup cakes on CMA night. Their song “If I Die Young” has a life –“It’s something that we day dreamed about and was in the back of our minds and hearts” shares Kimberly Perry. It is no overnight success for the trio as they have celebrated 13 years together as a group a week ago. “We’ve figured out how to operate as a family in the business. It’s been a long walk from day one to this red carpet tonight and were grateful to be here - I’ll tell you that !” they related. They don’t take each other too seriously and knowing when you push the other its just enough and let them walk away - “We’re each others support

Rascal Flatts were down to perform twice. The first with new single “Easy” with Natasha Bedingfield –“It’s killer and were looking forward to sing with Lionel whose in the house. Singing with an icon, it’s like, looking at him and go - We’re a Commodore, Man!” We reheared last night and he went up and said you’re a Commodore and Lionel said “I know  Natasha said she felt the southern welcoming and politeness and –“I don’t know if they really like me or not (jokes), I feel at home here”. Rascal Flatts said  We don’t like her in fact – We LOVE her” and no they didn’t pick her out of rehab!

Faith Hill who was showcasing her brand new single said “It’s been 5 years since I performed on the show. I’m done with my album, I’ve worked so hard with my producer and written so hard and I’m ready to just celebrate it” Her husband Tim Mcgraw said “I’m relaxed and excited to see her sing, I couldn’t be more proud” Sharing their CMA memories Faith remembered when Reba McEntire was Entertainer of the Year and when Tim was at high school remembers Randy Travis singing and was blown away by him. AP wondered if their 3 daughters have the musical bug. –“They can all sing but they’re still very young and we just want them to be happy and to follow their hearts, whatever they want to do” said Faith.
CMA Live Stream screenshot It's REBA!
Reba McEntire was wearing an original with her own design with Terry Gordon –“I had fun doing it, I love it cos’ it’s comfortable and this is eye-candy for me she said. The earrings were heavy, she had to balance them out (she laughs). Asking her why it’s one of country musics biggest nights she said – “Because all the stars are here, were having fun, it’s like a family reunion, all of the artists know each other and we get to know each other better by doing these kinda things because all of us don’t tour together. So coming to the awards shows is like hanging out. We’ve got 10 of us in one dressing room “ she said. Reba related it was a lot of fun on her major tour with Steel Magnolia, James Otto, Edens Edge and The Band Perry. Every Friday night they get together in one of the dressing rooms to have a party – “We just celebrate Halloween or somebodys Birthday. We need an occasion, but not always (she laughs)”     
Kenny Loggins was there on the night to perform a revived “Footloose” with Blake Shelton as the opening number. The song was released in January 1984 as the first of two single by Loggins from the 1984 film of the same name. – “It’s amazing to see it coming back around again, it’s really fun” he said.  Reffering to Blake’s tweets he said “He’s a funny guy I’ve given him a lot of s##t already!” Asked if he thought the CMA crowd were the most laid back in the world – “We’ll have to see about that, they’ve really built a hell of a show this year and I think it’s going to be fun” Was he nervous? – “No, I kinda know this song, this shouldn’t be a problem

Glen Campbell was asked what he thought about 3 of country music’s biggest guitar slingers about to pay tribute to him - “It’s cool , I was a guitar player first and then I started to sing” What has country music meant to him? “Oh, ever since I can remember. My Dad had a ukulele and when I got older I realised I had a cotton hoe in my hand and I didn’t like that (Young Glen picked cotton in the fields beside his brothers and father "for $1.25 a hundred pounds). Never had a cotton sack in my hand so I wanted to get out of there and play a guitar and God has let me do that, so I’m flattered 
CMA Live Stream screenshot
Lauren Alaina and Martina McBride chat

Lauren Alaina was there who had a birthday this week. She had the goosebumps seeing so many of the stars at her first CMAs –“I’m a little nervous and excited at the same time” she said.
Martina McBride’s advise to her was to “soak it in and enjoy it and sometimes when your too busy all the time it’s hard to do that”. Well thanks said Lauren “Let me go and write that down somewhere” .
Martina was excited to be seeing Faith Hill perform again and the Glen Campbell tribute – “There’s always something special in the show” Martina had decided to do a bit of rock n’ roll, be comfortable and not do the gown thing this year.

SOURCES - CMA Live Stream - Associated Press,  hosted photo images (AP/Getty)

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