Chesney after ACM win: Fan votes shouldnt decide
LAS VEGAS 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 shows 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 shows 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. Thats the way Garth won it four times, thats the way I won it, thats the way (George) Strait won it, Reba (McEntire), Alabama all those years. Thats what its 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 peoples buttons the hardest on the Internet.Messages left for officials with the Academy of Country Music Awards were not immediately returned Sunday night.Chesney was the nights 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.I really want to say the reason Im in country music is because my grandfather would make me listen to Buck Owens when I was like 4 years old, and I think Buck was the first male vocalist for this organization. Im so honored to carry the torch for another year, Paisley said.Carrie Underwood also took home her second consecutive female vocalist trophy.I know I dont deserve it, but Ill 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 their sixth in a row, while Brooks & Dunn won their 13th straight award for top vocal duo.Wed like to give God all the thanks and all the glory for giving us a stage to stand on every night, said Rascal Flatts singer LeVox. Bandmate Joe Don Rooney had other things on his mind. He glanced at his watch and said he had to get home. Ive got a baby coming any minute.LeVox disagreed with Chesney about the nights top honor, saying he hoped the fans continued to choose.Its about time, he said, calling fans the reason that all three of us have jobs.Dr. Phil presented Brooks & Dunn their award. Im glad Dr. Phil was here because we need therapy for this one, Kix Brooks cracked.Miranda Lambert won album of the year, and Sugarland took single record and song of the year honors for their mellow hit Stay.Im sitting right behind Kenny Chesney and I just dont feel right taking this, said Lambert, who won for her sophomore outing, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Im a songwriter, and I poured my heart and soul into this album. Thank you for appreciating it.The win was big for Lambert, who beat out superstars Chesney and Paisley, as well as hot new acts Taylor Swift and Rodney Atkins.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.Sometimes it takes a long time and thats my story, Ingram said backstage. I put in a lot of hard miles, and Im thankful.Lady Antebellum took home top new duo or vocal group. Does this mean we get to hang out with Kenny Chesney now? the trios Charles Kelley joked.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.Earlier, Brad Paisleys Online won video of the year. It was directed by former Seinfeld star Jason Alexander, who also co-starred and made an onstage appearance Sunday night, joking that he didnt believe the stereotype of country stars and fans being religious seeing as he hadnt spotted any of them at synagogue.Tracy Lawrence won vocal event of the year for Find Out Who Your Friends Are with Tim McGraw and Chesney.This is absolutely awesome, Lawrence said. We moved a big mountain pulling this off.Underwood opened the show, which aired live from the MGM Grand, with her rocker, I Dont Even Know His Last Name. Strait, who was celebrating his 56th birthday, performed his 56th No. 1 hit: I Saw God Today. Swift did It Should Have Been Me and ended it by getting drenched in a cascade of water.Brooks received the ACMs Crystal Milestone Award and did a medley of his hits that included The Thunder Rolls, Friends in Low Places and More Than a Memory.Paisley and Underwood performed a stripped-down version of Eddy Arnolds classic Make the World Go Away. Arnold died May 8, days short of his 90th birthday.McEntire hosted the show for the 10th time.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.