The CMA Awards: Taylor performs Back To December and gets ready for next year

(Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty)

To paraphrase Brad Paisley, newly reigning Entertainer of the Year, when artist thank the fans they mean all the fans of country music, not just theirs. I  count myself as a Brad Paisley fan. But after been nominated five times in a row as Entertainer of the Year, his win last night was considered unlikely although he was himself a favorite for the award. At least certainly by me. I’m glad Brad finally won Entertainer of the Year last night.

Lady Antebellum was my other favorite for Entertainer, and I was sure they’d get it. They won for Vocal Group of the Year and Single of the Year for Need You Now. They were one of the show’s major highlights with an excellent performance of their newest single Hello World that brought me close to tears. I said close. (Fine, I was bawling)

The awards for Song of the Year and Album of the Year went to Miranda Lambert’s The House That Built Me and her Revolution album. I would’ve put money on Need You Now getting both awards as Song and Album.

But credit where credit is due, and we congratulate Miranda Lambert also for her win as Female Vocalist of the Year and Blake Shelton for Male Vocalist of the Year. Congratulations on your oncoming wedding as well.

(Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty)

The Outspoken One lost her nomination to Miranda but, while still being the Entertainer of the Year, played an acoustic rendition of her song Back To December on the piano accompanied by a band on strings. Recognizable through the dark and the snow falling were Caitlin Evanson, who actually sat with Tay when she was in the audience, and Amos J. Heller on the big acoustic bass. The performance (complete with actual snowflakes) was another of the highlights of the night.

If you noticed Taylor being a little sad tonight, you probably should read some of my previous posts. A friend of hers passed away and she attended his funeral earlier this week. On Tuesday, November 9, she accepted the BMI Country Songwriter of the Year and dedicated the award to him.

There was a curious note as once the performance finished and the curtain was coming down, Taylor mouthed the word what. It would’ve bugged me all night save for Caitlin clearing it up through Twitter:

http://twitter.com/#!/caitlinbird/status/2545811913187329

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were once again excellent in their role as hosts and had their comedic timing down. Brad specially was the surprise performance of the night with the first ever performance of his new song This Is Country Music. The song will be released with his next album in 2011.

And the Outspoken One? Next year her album and tour will sweep up awards and sell out concert venues. She’ll back in the award circuit with a vengeance.

Haven’t you heard? There’s nothing she does better.

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(Sources: CMA Awards, ABC)