The 45th Annual CMA Awards are in the books. Congratulations to all the winners--my take coming in just a few minutes. But in addition to cheering Jason Aldean for his brand new Album of the Year award, I must also congratulate him for being the first and only (I believe) winner to tell his kids to go to bed from the podium. 

Now, I've always listed that as a pet peeve with awards shows, but that's usually with those Hollywood awards; they always start around 5pm Pacific and end up telling their kids to hit the sack around 6:30. It's all for lame humor. But I'll give Jason a pass because it was about 8:30 and that's reasonable enough. Plus, I just like the CMA Awards more than the rest of them. CMA winners thank the people who really got 'em there--the fans. And they think radio, as well. Gotta be honest, those of us in radio appreciate that. And we appreciate the sincerity of the winners. CMA winners are far more humble and natural. You seldom ever see them reach for a slip of paper that contains a bunch of names they need to mention. Yeah, I know Taylor Swift sort of did that when she won Entertainer of the Year, but it was funny the way she did it--she wrote it on her arm. That's funny. She's funny. (She needs to do more film comedy, but that's a story for another day.) In so many ways, these awards will always be more palatable than the "love-me" fests on the West Coast. By the way, Taylor's win was a little surprising. I figured it was Blake Shelton's to lose after a very high profile year that included his work as a judge and coach on "The Voice." But I guess when you step back and look at all the tickets Taylor can sell in a matter of seconds, coupled with her spotless image and fierce determination to protect that image, it shouldn't be ALL that surprising.

 Blake's Male Vocalist of the Year win wasn't surprising at all. I had predicted a Jason Aldean win because I thought Blake's label would shove their votes into the Entertainer category, thus opening the door for an Aldean win. But that was an admittedly "out-on-a-limb" prediction and I'm not surprised at the way things turned out. Miranda Lambert's victory in the Female Vocalist of the Year category was hardly shocking. And although Lady Antebellum won Vocal Group for the third year in a row, I didn't think they were a runaway favorite. The Zac Brown Band is equally as hot and could easily have won the award. The Band Perry's victories for Single and Song of the Year for "If I Die Young" were not surprising considering that their monster ballad is the top selling country song of the last 12 months--more than 3 million downloads.  Performances were uniformly good. The Glen Campbell tribute was my favorite. You know, several artists, as I mentioned, won for the second or third year in a row. I'll be interested to see if there's a shake-up next November. Until then...