Friday, 6 April 2012

47th Annual ACM Awards 2012 Nominations & Winners

47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards
Nominations and Winners, show and awards review, red carpet videos, ACM 2012 Performances, about the presenters,  Country’s new breed of male stars on display and ACM 2012 photos

47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards 2012 Nominations and Winners

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton
Taylor Swift   WINNER   -  Award Photo - Pressroom Photo -  Pressroom Photo
  >>    YouTube
Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton   WINNER  -  Pressroom Photo
Chris Young

Female Vocalist of the Year
Sara Evans
Miranda Lambert   WINNER  - Pressroom Photo - Pressroom Photo -
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Vocal Duo of the Year   *(Off Camera Award)
Love and Theft
Montgomery Gentry
Steel Magnolia
Thompson Square   WINNER  - Pressroom Photo - Pressroom Photo

Vocal Group of the Year
The Band Perry
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum   WINNER  - Award Photo - Pressroom Photo
Rascal Flatts
Zac Brown Band

New Artist of the Year
Brantley Gilbert
Hunter Hayes
Scotty McCreery   WINNER  - Pressroom Photo - Pressroom Photo

Album of the Year (Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company)
Chief – Eric Church, (EMI-Nashville) Produced by: Arturo Buenahora, Jr., Jay Joyce
Four The Record – Miranda Lambert ,(RCA) Produced by: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf   WINNER - Award Photo - Pressroom Photo- Pressroom Photo
Hemingway's Whiskey – Kenny Chesney, (BNA) Produced by: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney
My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean, (Broken Bow Records) Produced by: Michael Knox
Own The Night – Lady Antebellum, (Capitol Records Nashville)  Produced by: Lady Antebellum, Paul Worley

Single Record of the Year (Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company)
Crazy Girl – Eli Young Band (Republic Nashville)  Produced by: Mike Wrucke
Don't You Wanna Stay – Jason Aldean With Kelly Clarkson, (Broken Bow Records) Produced by: Michael Knox  WINNER  - Award Photo
Red Solo Cup – Toby Keith (Show Dog-Universal Music) Produced by: Toby Keith
Tomorrow – Chris Young (RCA) Produced by: James Stroud
You And Tequila – Kenny Chesney Featuring Grace Potter (BNA)  Produced by: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney

Song of the Year (Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s))
Crazy Girl – Eli Young Band, Composers: Lee Brice, Liz Rose  WINNER -  Award Photo  - Pressroom Photo - Pressroom
Publishers: Cake Taker Music (BMI), Mike Curb Music (BMI), Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI), Sweet Hysteria Music (BMI)

Home – Dierks Bentley, Composers: Brett Beavers, Dierks Bentley, Dan Wilson
Publishers: Big White Tracks (ASCAP), Chestnut Barn Music (BMI), Chrysalis Music/BMG Rights (ASCAP), Chrysalis One Songs (BMI)
Just A Kiss – Lady Antebellum, Composers: Dallas Davidson, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott
Publishers: Dwhaywood Music (BMI), EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI), EMI Foray Music (SESAC), Hillary Dawn Songs (SESAC), Radiobulletspublishing (BMI), String Stretcher Music (BMI) Warner-Tamberlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)

Threaten Me With Heaven – Vince Gill,   Composers: Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Dillon O’Brian, Will Owsley
Publishers: Grant Girls Music (ASCAP), Vinny Mae Music (BMI), Willie-O Music (ASCAP)
You And Tequila – Kenny Chesney, Featuring Grace Potter, Composers: Matraca Berg, Deana Carter
Publishers: Deanaling Music (ASCAP), Hannaberg Music (BMI), Songs of Universal Inc., (BMI), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)

Video of the Year (Award to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)) *(Off Camera Award)
Homeboy – Eric Church, Producer: Brandon Arolfo  Director: Peter Zavadil 
Just A Kiss – Lady Antebellum, Producer: Don Lepore  Director: Shaun Silva
Mean – Taylor Swift, Producer: Oualid Mouaness  Director: Declan Whitebloom
Red Solo Cup – Toby Keith,  Producer: Mark Kalbfeld  Director: Michael Salomon  WINNER
Tattoos On This Town – Jason Aldean,  Producer: John Burke  Director: Wes Edwards

Vocal Event of the Year (Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company) *(Off Camera Award)
Country Boy – Aaron Lewis Featuring George Jones & Charlie Daniels (R&J Records)  Produced by: Aaron Lewis, James Stroud
Don’t You Wanna Stay – Jason Aldean With Kelly Clarkson (Broken Bow Records)  Produced by: Michael Knox  WINNER  - Pressroom Photo
Old Alabama – Brad Paisley Featuring Alabama (Arista Nashville)   Produced by: Frank Rogers
Remind Me – Brad Paisley Duet With Carrie Underwood (Arista Nashville)   Produced by: Frank Rogers
You And Tequila – Kenny Chesney Featuring Grace Potter (BNA)  Produced by: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney


Hosts Blake Shelton, left, and Reba McEntire
speak onstage at the 47th
Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

The winners were announced for the 47th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, during a star-studded ceremony hosted by Reba McEntire (live photo) and Blake Shelton (backstage photo) broadcast LIVE on the CBS Television Network from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 1, 2012

Artists Lee Brice, Kelly Clarkson, Eli Young Band, Scotty McCreery and Thompson Square picked up their first time Academy of Country Music Awards.

Fans named Taylor Swift, Entertainer of the Year, with the nights biggest honour. This is the second consecutive year that Taylor has been named Entertainer of the Year. This year marked a record breaking year with nearly one million fans casting their vote for Entertainer of the Year and New Artist of the Year categories, combined.
Swift is the youngest and seventh solo female to take the award in the 40 year history of this category; previous winners include Loretta Lynn in 1975, Dolly Parton in 1977, Barbara Mandrell in 1980, Reba in 1994, Shania Twain in 1999, Dixie Chicks in 2000 and Carrie Underwood in 2008 and 2009.

Tay Tay was a mostly silent presence for much of the show. Shelton and co-host Reba McEntire poked a little fun at her, wondering about that rumored date with New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. Taylor known for her surprised award look (photo) which Blake Shelton  jokingly mocked at the start of the show. When it was time for Blake to receive his Male Vocalist Award from the hands of the T-Swizzle they both demonstrated their good spirits by mocking the look again! (award photo) Blake and Reba McEntire kept the 24 performance-packed show moving along, and got off a few good jokes in the opening.  They made fun at Randy Travis' DUI arrest and and also took some potshots at each other. "When I first met you, you were just the life support system for a mullet (archive photo !)," Reba told Blake. "I didn't get a chance to see a lot of your early career … until we got the History Channel," Blake shot back at 57-year old Reba.

Taylor Swift with her 2012 ACM Award
for Entertainer Of The Year
Pressroom Photo
Getty Image (AP)
Taylor eventually lost in the female vocalist and video categories and didn't perform. Lionel Richie came on to announce the Entertainer winner and by this time a feeling of inevitability had taken over as to who the recipicient was going to be. By then Taylor’s main rival foir the big prize was nine-time nominee Kenny Chesney who found herself completely shut out of the awards

"She deserved it," fellow nominee and show co-host Blake Shelton said. "When those announcements came out who was nominated, I remember saying right then — I don't think I said I hope Taylor wins because I hoped I would win — but Taylor deserves it. I don't think there is anyone with half a brain that would say otherwise. She has done a lot for us in country music. We are lucky enough in country music to call her one of us. But I am always going to make fun of her in my monologues so she might as well get used to that”.

In accepting the entertainer of the year award, Swift said, "I want to say to my fellow my nominees in this category, I respect you so much, and I love you. We work hard, and we try to give back. Recently, I became aware of a different struggle that's going on."
"My date tonight was supposed to be a high school football player named Kevin McGuire. And he's not here, but I promised I'd give him a shout-out. Kevin and all your family and friends, thank you for wanting to take me to the ACMs."

The stunning Taylor invited the 18-year-old high school senior from New Jersey to the awards show after his sister orchestrated a major campaign on Facebook for the singer to accompany him to his prom. Kevin, who is fighting cancer, was sadly forced to cancel his trip to Las Vegas when he was hospitalized following chemotherapy and radiation treatment last week.
Backstage wearing an elegant white floor-length dress with gold accents,she told the Associated Press that “ I called him yesterday and told him that the next award show that he is well for we are going,"

For Miranda Lambert she scooped her third consecutive win as Female Vocalist of the Year and her hubby Blake Shelton landed his first win as Male Vocalist of the Year. 
Miranda also took the prize for Album of the Year, making her the only female to have three consecutive albums win the category. Lambert previously won Album of the Year in 2007 for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and in 2009 for REVOLUTION.
In her acceptance speech for Album of the Year Miranda said: "I own every record in this category, and I've been listening and listening, thinking, 'Man, I'm not gonna get it,'" she said. "Every record is amazing, and I'm so thrilled, I will never take this trophy for granted. My albums are my babies. They're what make me wake up in the morning”.

Lady Antbellum receive their 2012 ACM Award
for Vocal Group of the Year from rockers KISS
(Getty - AP image)

For the third consecutive year, Lady Antebellum won Vocal Group of the Year with Rock vets KISS in full makeup awarding Lady A  yet another trophy. KISS added a dash of ’70s rock to the preceedings whilst revealing Lady Antebellum as winners - This is crazy,” group member Charles Kelley said as he and band mates Hillary Scott and Dave Heywood collected their trophies while flanked by the rock quartet in full makeup, big hair and costumes. “Look, Mom,” Kelley shouted into the microphone, “KISS!”
On the red carpet Paul Stanley of KISS said he heard Taylor Swift dressed up as him when she pranked Brad Paisley on tour so he joked that he was thinking about returning the favor and putting on a pink dress. Band mate Gene Simmons was not amused at the suggestion - "There's no reason to dress up like anybody else when you are an icon," he said.

Thompson Square won Vocal Duo of the Year, their first ACM Award win overhauling million sellers Sugarland.
The announcement of their win was made during the ACM Concert – Salute to the Military Presented by NRA Country, Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the ACM Experience at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Husband and wife duo, comprised of Keifer and Shawna Thompson, was surprised with the award onstage by ACM CEO Bob Romeo in front of thousands of screaming fans moments after they had completed their set. Incredibly Thompson Square becomes only the third duo to win the ACM Vocal Duo of the Year Award in the past 20 years (since 1991), with Sugarland and Brooks & Dunn previously dominating the category.
It’s been a long, long road,” Keifer Thompson told the crowd. “This is one of the greatest nights of our lives.” Overcome with emotion, he continued, “It’s hard to talk when you’re crying.” “This is a very bittersweet moment for me,” added Shawna Thompson as she fought back tears. “More sweet than bitter.  My dad passed away a month ago.  This is for my dad.”

Scotty McCreery was honored as New Artist of the Year which marks his first ACM win in the fan-voted category.

Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson won two awards tonight in the categories of Single Record of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year for their song “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” This marks a first win in both categories for Aldean and Clarkson. 
The success of Aldean's collaboration with Clarkson is no doubt a contributing factor in her decision to record a." Aldean said the idea of adding her to his recording of "Don't You Wanna Stay" evolved while he was working on his My Kinda Party album.

"When we were in the studio, we had this song and I kind of brought the idea up," Jason said in accepting the single record of the year award. "I kind of thought it needed a female vocal on it. Kelly was the first name I threw out. And I'm really glad I did. She came in and made a great song -- just took it to a new place." Kelly who has recently brought out a country version of her pop hit, "Mr. Know It All”  told the audience, "Thank y'all so much for welcoming me from the pop world."

Jason Aldean though wasn't having much luck at the Vegas slot machines. He already lost $500 this weekend - "I have such high hopes when I get off the plane," he said Sunday. "I have a pocketful of money and then I have a half pocket full of money."
Chris Young nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year was having better luck away from the awards. The singer had already won $2,100 from the slot machines before the show began. "It happened to be the first machine I walked up to," said Young

One of the surprises on the night was to see Eli Young Band beat off Kenny Chesney's take on "You and Tequila" with Grace Potter and other top stars in the Song of the Year category. It was a long time coming for the Texas quartet, whose lead singer Mike Eli exhorted watchers to follow the band by following their dreams. Eli told reporters their career has morphed in incredible ways. A few years ago they were excited to score an interview in a college newspaper. Sunday night, they were dedicating the win to their wives for their patience. - "They were crying more than we were," Eli said. "And we were crying a lot."

Toby Keith was chatting with GAC-TV’s host Storme Warren on the red carpet when he was presented with an envelope to find out he had won Video of the Year. While in Vegas for the 47th ACM’s, Toby and the Warren Beavers (sibling songwriting team Brett and Brad Warren and Jim and Brett Beavers) were presented with plaques commemorating the platinum certification for Keith’s “Red Solo Cup.” (see photo) . The viral hit single is nearing the 1.7 million sales mark

ACM 2012 Red Carpet Video
Nan Kelley interviews Taylor Swift ("taylor smith everyone?" ) who was nominated for 3 ACM awards  >>   YouTube
Nan Kelley interviews Carrie Underwood who was nominated for 2 ACM awards >>   YouTube
Nan Kelley interviews Miranda Lambert on the red carpet. She introduces her grandma, who was her date >>  YouTube
Nan Kelley interviews Lady Antebellum who were up for four awards and it was Hillary’s 26th Birthday! >>  YouTube
Storme Warren interviews Sara Evans on the red carpet   >>   YouTube
Storme Warren interviews ACM presenter LeAnn Rimes, she spills about her new album SPITFIRE  >>   YouTube
Suzanne Alexander interviews Hunter Hayes on the red carpet >>  YouTube
Nan Kelley interviews Scotty “Oh My Goodness” McCreery, American Idol Winner and Best New Artist Winner >>    YouTube
Storme Warren interviews The Band Perry on the ACM red carpet  >>   YouTube
Storme Warren interviews Toby Keith holding a red solo cup on the red carpet + Award presentation >>  YouTube
Nan Kelley interviews Jake Owen and talks about his date  >>   YouTube
Nan Kelley interviews Lionel Richie on the red carpet   >>    YouTube
ACM 2012 Red carpet Stream -

ACM 2012 Performances
Carrie Underwood Live at the 47th ACM Awards
performs "God Girl"
(Getty -AP Image) April 1,  2012

Carrie Underwood (live photo live photo) kicked off the three-hour awards show with her new single, "Good Girl." >>   YouTube.  Carrie dressed in a sexy black and magenta mini-dress gave a warning shot to those looking for a lot of country twang with a hard-charging blast of rock 'n' roll. Nominated as Female Vocalist of the Year excited about her opening performance she tweeted "Today is the big day! Our 'Good Girl' performance is going to be hot hot hot! Wish me luck tonight! #ACM's."

Currently #11 on the Billboard Country Songs chart and already a 2 week chart topper on the Hot Country Digital Charts it a song that Carrie says she has channelled her inner rocker on': "My inner rock chick has always been there. I grew up listening to a lot of rock music through my sisters, who were teenagers while I was young, so they had control of the radio. Just working with different people and experiencing different things influences what happens naturally. It's not like a guided effort to switch directions or add different stuff in your music -- it just happens. You don't fight it, you just go with it”

Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw (live photo) debuted their duet, "Feel Like a Rock Star." >>   YouTube (written by Chris Tompkins and Rodney Clawson ) and will be the first single from Chesney's new album, WELCOME TO THE FISHBOWL, due to drop June 19. "You busted your ass all week and now it's your time to be/Whatever you wanna be/You can dress to kill, shoot to thrill, try to seal the deal," sang Tim and Kenny. "Whatever makes you feel like a rock star." With the cameras focusing on Miss Swift the always-game super star showed some smart dance moves watching her fellow male country artists. Just two days later, the song was the most-played title on country radio.

The Zac Brown Band and Brad Paisley who was sporting the same knit cap as Zac during the performance, teamed up for a high energy "Whiskey's Gone", as Brad let rip on the telecaster   >>    YouTube

Martina McBride and Train frontman Pat Monahan sang "Marry Me" during an actual wedding ceremony for a New Jersey couple Christina Davidson and Frank Tucci. (photophoto) Davidson and Tucci's ceremony - quick even for notoriously quickie Vegas weddings — went on behind the singers and fans could hear the bride (wearing an Oleg Cassini gown) and groom say "I will" before their first kiss as a married couple, bringing the crowd to its feet. (photo)

Bono of U2 providing a video introduction from Ireland to Dierks Bentley's performance of "Home." (live photo) >>   YouTube

Rascal Flatts were joined by actor, comedian and banjo player Steve Martin (live photo) on their current single, "Banjo" after a brief tribute to Bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs, who died last week.  >>    YouTube

Toby Keith wearing a beer-swilling grin, dark glasses and a baseball cap (live photo) walked through the audience singing his novelty viral hit, "Red Solo Cup," with a guest appearance by 47-year old American comedian Carrot Top (photo) [real name Scott Thompson]   >>     YouTube

Zac Brown who plays on Hunter Hayes record showed him some respect before he introduced the young ACM New Artist nominee.
Hunter performed his single, "Storm Warning,"  >>  YouTube who in turn introduced Little Big Town's performance of "Here's Hope," he wrote to to shed light on child hunger in America. Little Big Town (live photo) spliced in the song with John Lennon's "Imagine." >>   YouTube

Other performances at the 47th Annual Acm Music Awards were provided by:
Miranda Lambert ("Over You") - which Blake Shelton introduced as being "the most personal and important song in our lives together."  Live Photo   >>    YouTube
Jason Aldean ("Fly Over States") - Live photo   >>    YouTube
Blake Shelton ("Drink on It")   >>    YouTube
Brad Paisley (“Camouflage”)  -  Live Photo   >>     YouTube
Scooty McCreery ("Water Tower Town")   >>  YouTube
The Band Perry  (“Postcard From Paris") - Live Photo Live Photo   >>   YouTube
Chris Young ("Save Water, Drink Beer") – Live Photo  (Steve Seils, Chris Young and Kevin Collier) >>   YouTube
Keith Urban ("For You" from the Act of Valor soundtrack) – Live Photo   >>   YouTube
Brantley Gilbert ("Country Must Be Country Wide")  >>   YouTube

Eric Church ("Springsteen") was smooth and wonderfully delivered with the adorable couple Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman were seen to be thoroughly enjoying every second.Live photo  - Live Photo  >>   YouTube

Lady Antebellum ("Dancin' Away With My Heart") – Live PhotoLive Photo Live Photo  >>   YouTube
Sara Evans ("My Heart Can't Tell You No") her version of the 1988 Rod Stewart pop hit.  She was introduced by Latin pop star Marc Anthony who awkwardly stuttered through it.  - Live Photo   >>   YouTube

Luke Bryan ("I Don't Want This Night to End") featured a thrilling laser light show and Bryan belted out the song’s killer pop-country hook while riling up the crowd. Put simply, the man is a great performer, even if his constantly gyrating hips do make me wonder if he has a secret past at Chippendales. Granted, those hips aren’t a problem for everyone — as my co-worker and fellow country fan Mandi Bierly told me on Twitter last night, “He’s the only equal opportunity ass shaker in country music. I approve.” Live photo  >>   YouTube

Blake Shelton and Lionel Richie (live photo) closed out the show with "You Are," a track they recorded for Richie's new album of duets, TUSKEGEE   >>   YouTube
It was a preview of the upcoming Lionel Richie special that will tape Monday night and air April 13 on CBS TV. It features top country stars paying tribute to the legendary entertainer, as well as some duets.

ACM 2012 Award Presenters:
Marc Anthony(photo), Ashton Kutcher, Jake Owen, LeAnn Rimes, Grace Potter (photo), Eli Young Band, Beth Behrs (photo), Zac Brown, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Liam Hemsworth, LL COOL J, KISS, Scotty McCreery, Nancy O’Dell, Lionel Richie, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Sugarland, and Thompson Square.

Marc Anthony - Has sold over 11 million albums worldwide, making him one of the most influential artists of his time and a true ambassador of Latin music and culture.
Ashton Kutcher (photo - backstage photo) – Is an actor, producer and co-founder of Katalyst, a new breed of media company – first gained recognition as Michael Kelso on the comedy series, “That 70's Show,” which aired for eight seasons. In 2010, Kutcher's company, Katalyst was named one of the year's Top 50 Most Inspiring Innovators by Ad Age and one of Fast Company Magazine’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies. Katalyst, creates original digital media, television and film.
Introducing the Female Vocalist of the Year category, Ashton Kutcher, in full country regalia, sang - badly - a few bars of George Strait's "I Cross My Heart." Verdict - He should not quit his day job. “Was Ashton Kutcher making fun of country or is it just me?” Lambert later tweeted. “Watching it back now and I'm kinda wondering?”

Grace Potter – A first-time ACM nominee, with three nominations for “You And Tequila” with Kenny Chesney, in the Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year categories.  Grace Potter & The Nocturnals’ fourth studio album, for Hollywood Records, THE LION THE BEAST THE BEAT, will be released June 12. 
LeAnn Rimes (live photo)- Has sold more than 37 million albums, won two Grammy® Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards and 12 Billboard Music Awards. Rimes is the youngest recipient of a Grammy® Award, and was also the first country recording artist to win in the “Best New Artist” category.

Country’s new breed of male stars offers a glimpse into the future at the 2012 ACM’s
Country's new young male stars on display at 2012 ACM Awards
Young male country music stars are as rare as pink pickups these days.

While young female stars have been rising with some regularity in country music, young men find the going tough and the fans locked up by established stars who've been popular for a decade or longer.
This year's Academy of Country Music Awards, however, offers a glimpse into the future of country's newest male stars.

The fan-voted top new artist category features three acts this year — platinum-selling teen 2011 "Idol" Scotty McCreery, former child prodigy Hunter Hayes and the rockin' hitmaker Brantley Gilbert.

They share youth in common, but little else. Each occupies a different niche in the scene, making music that satisfies different parts of the country audience.

Hunter Hayes - "It's really cool because there is a nice little diversity," Hayes said. "There's a totally different thing between what Scotty and I do and a totally different thing between what Brantley and I do, which is fun. We do cover totally different ends of the genre but that shows you how far it spreads, and I love that. I love to see that."

20-year-old Hunter is charting his own course, one steeped in modern pop sounds. Already a performer at an early age — he took the stage with Hank Williams Jr. at age 4 and others while growing up in Breaux Bridge, La. — he was inspired by acts like Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban. He soaked in not only the sounds those acts were producing, but the fact that each played their own instruments. By the time he was ready for Nashville, he could play every instrument you'd need on a record, and did on his self-titled debut, with the help of producer Dann Huff. While it was something of a stunt in Nashville, where some of the best session musicians are always on call, Hayes thinks it was a pivotal decision for a shy artist who might not have been so open and honest in a studio full of crusty veterans - "You could hear it," Hayes said. "You could feel it was me being myself, me being comfortable with myself lyrically and musically, and not holding back."
Like Gilbert and McCreery, Hayes has his own ideas about country music. He's as interested in Bruno Mars and Andy Grammer as today's country hitmakers and sees no boundaries. He feels the same thing when he listens to his fellow nominees.
"I love that," Hayes said. "That to me says that country is now translating to a generation. It's being reintroduced with songs and with music that matters, some new subject matter that's generally relatable. My favorite artists are my favorite artists because they've written something that means something to me."

Brantley Gilbert – He is  27, but still young in a genre where the male country star heavy-weights are almost all in their mid-30s or older, has building his name in the bar scene around the Southeast for years - "I was lucky enough to get started way, way early, you know, playing small bars and trying to start a fire goin' that way," Gilbert said. "So it's been a long time coming, I feel like."

Gilbert was writing future hits in his early 20s and scored finanicialy when Jason Aldean took his "My Kinda Party" and "Dirt Road Anthem" to the top of the country charts last year. Brantly also gained a #1 in his own right at radio with his single "Country Must Be Country Wide," considered a theme song for modern country fans, from his second album, HALFWAY TO HEAVEN.
Gilbert embodies the sound championed by Aldean, Eric Church and others who honed a rock-inflected brand of hard country that's as indebted to Guns 'N Roses and Metallica as it is to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. From Jefferson, Ga., he speaks laconically in a deeply accented rumble and looks the part of 21st century country star, and fans have enthusiastically latched on.

Brantley’s ACM look was far from cuddly: He sported a black jacket with spikes on both shoulders. "It guards against hugs," joked the new artist of the year nominee.The "Country Must Be Country Wide" singer said he used to be more touchy-feely. As a college student, he planned to become a couple's counselor before he went into music. "I probably would have been responsible for more divorces than Facebook," he said.

Scotty McCreery - Had a foundation built with quick-mix concrete when he won "American Idol" last year, and those fans stayed with him when he released his debut "CLEAR AS DAY," which went platinum (RIAA units scanned) in three months. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and Top Country Albums charts, making him the youngest man to open at the top of the all-genre chart with a debut. It stayed at No. 1 on the country chart for six weeks and his now in sight of selling 1-million units.

Scotty is making the transition from high school senior to budding country star, he's trying to sort out how to shape his future.
Beyond the example set by former "Idol" winner Carrie Underwood, he has no signposts along the way. Country music has rarely had a male teen country star sell as many albums so quickly, let alone one who's stood the test of time.

"The cool thing for me about that is there's no formula," McCreery said. "The record label can tell me this and of course I'm listening to them, they have the experience. But there's no calculus formula to say, 'Scotty if you do this, this and this, you'll be around in 20 years headlining your own show.' It's fun to be working through that."

McCreery told AP he was accepted to four colleges this spring, but settled on North Carolina State, where his dad got his degree.
The 18-year-old also said he wasn't having a hard time finding something to do in Las Vegas, where he isn't old enough to drink or enter most nightclubs - "There ain't no temptations," said the reigning "American Idol" champ. "I have been riding the roller coasters."

While Scott McCreery’s career shows no sign of slowing down, country music’s newest star is planning on hitting the books.
After winning the fan-voted award for New Artist of the Year at Sunday night’s 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, the American Idol winner announced his plans to attend college in the fall.
The platinum-selling artist is graduating high school in June and wants to continue his education. However, as McCreery told PEOPLE Magazine, that doesn’t mean he is putting his music career on hold either - “We’re gonna work classes around [and] head out on the weekends on the road or something,” he said. “We’re gonna work it out.”

Reference:  March 29, 2012, (AP)

PHOTOS at the 47th Annual ACM 2012 Awards
Taylor Swift signing autographs for fans outside  photo
Taylor Swift on the red carpet at the 47th ACM Awards - Photo
Rock veterans KISS tipped their hats to country on the red carpet – Photo
Hillary Scott and Faith Hill at the 47th Annual ACM Awards - Photo

Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood in attendence the 47th ACM Awards – Photo
Luke Bryan and Caroline Bryan in attendence pose - Photo

Taylor Swift and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum in attendence the 47th ACM Awards – Photo
Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert hug at The 47th ACM Awards – Photo

Host Reba McEntire Live - Photo

Jason Aldean and Jessica Aldean & family backstage – Photo
The Band Perry & KISS (Reid Perry, Eric Singer, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Kimberly Perry, Paul Stanley and Neil Perry) pose backstage – Photo
Host Reba McEntire (L) and Ventriloquist Terry Fator with his character Walter T. Airedale - Photo
Laura Bell Bundy and Miranda Lambert pose backstage – Photo  **
Deana Carter and Toby Keith backstage – Photo

Photos hosted by (Photos by Sara Kauss, Frazer Harrison, Ethan Miller, Rick Diamond Getty Images for ACM) 

Video - 47th ACM Awards Red carpet Stream -

The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards 2012 Full Show (2hr 9min)  - YouTube Page

SOURCESACM Country, Associated Press, CMT

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