Fans prepare for annual Academy of Country Music Awards

By Madeline Master

The 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air live on CBS, April 6, 2014 at 8 PM. This is one of country music’s biggest nights of the year. The ceremony will reward country artists for their accomplishments from the previous year—2013.

Two of country music’s hottest stars, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, will host the award show for the second year in a row. Their humorous personalities, God given talent and nearly flawless physical features will make for a very entertaining show.

The most honorable award of the night and year, sought after by all artists in the business is Entertainer of the Year. Last year, it was awarded to the very handsome, admirable, and talented Luke Bryan. This year, he is nominated again along with, co-host Blake Shelton, reigning female vocalist of the year, Miranda Lambert (wife of Shelton), the “King of Country”, George Strait, and pop star with country roots, Taylor Swift.

Luke Bryan is extremely deserving of this award. He is an excellent performer with a real talent for songwriting. With 10 number one songs to date, he continues to sing about what he knows best and the things he feels most passionate about. Bryan has faced a lot of tragedy in his life and every one of his songs comes from a special place in his heart. Each song portrays him to be the real and genuine person that he seems to be. His personality, strength, and talent make him a frontrunner for the award. Luke’s always got my vote

“I think Luke Bryan will win the award based on his popularity now and determined fan base. He also won it last year, so I think his chances only increase this year,” said junior Sarah Allmacher.

Still, hardcore country artist, Miranda Lambert is an all-around amazing artist. She has a great energy and stage presence through every performance. Her songs work to explain the struggles she faced throughout her childhood. Each performance works to show the struggles and pain she has overcome all her life to make it where she is today. Lambert appeals to a wide audience and her vitality makes her a great candidate for the honor.

Mercy High School junior, Nicole Di Ponio said, “I have always been a fan of Miranda’s. I have never seen her perform live, but have watched a ton of videos and know a lot of her songs. She is a frontrunner in my mind.”

Lambert’s husband, Blake Shelton has a great personality performing on tour and as a three time winning coach on The Voice. His knowledge of the business and successes of his own help him to guide young artists on The Voice follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest stars. So, he must know a little something about music and performing. His sense of humor appeals to an audience even further than country music and attracts many different people to his concerts. His widespread fan base and humorous personality makes him the perfect candidate for Entertainer of the Year.

“The Blake Shelton concert was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. It was so entertaining and he is hilarious. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won this award,” Allmacher added.

But would a music award show really be complete without TSwift and her awkward dance moves and facial expressions? Two-time Entertainer of the Year and pop star with a country background, Taylor Swift is an exceptional songwriter and has been extremely successful for her young age of 23. With 33 singles, 4 studio albums, and 31 music videos Swift has set the bar high for herself at a such a young age. While others may disagree, Taylor Swift is no longer included in the country genre. Her new album Red and the albums leading up to it have decreased in country twang as the years have progressed. She is still able to keep many of her country fans as well as attracting the fans of mainstream pop music. Swift is extremely talented and an exceptional entertainer but as far as country goes, that ship has sailed. She is very deserving of a high honor award, just not at a country show.

North Farmington High School junior and fan of mainstream music, Anna Waldron said, “Taylor always has my vote. I have been a fan of her for a long time and she is an amazing performer live.”

The King of Country Music himself will be making a prominent appearance at the awards as he bids farewell to the life he has known for so long. George Strait has been the face of country music since 1981 and there is no doubt that his music will remain popular for many years after his touring subsides.  With an astounding 60 number one hit songs and 26 studio albums, he obviously has the most experience out of every artist nominated for this award. On the flipside, this is the last year Strait will be touring. It would be no surprise or disappointment to the fans of country music if King George ends his career on top. George has got my vote too.

“George Strait has been one of my favorites for a long time. I saw him perform last month and he was amazing. He definitely deserves this award,” said Ladywood senior Lindsey Wagner.

If it were truly my decision, the award would be either in the hands of Luke Bryan or George Strait. Luke is my favorite country singer and George comes in at a close second. Both artists worked extremely hard to get to where they are today. Each of their discographies shows the amazing artists they are, especially Strait with 60 number ones. That is an achievement not reached by many artists. Each of the nominated artists exemplify maximum star qualities and are all deserving of the award, in my opinion some more than others.

Unfortunately, the recipient of the award is not entirely up for me to decide; I guess I’ll just have to wait until April 6 to find out who wins!

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