From Luke Bryan’s touching performance of “Drink A Beer” to the pomp and swagger of Florida Georgia Line, last night’s 47th Annual Country Music Association Awards had a little something for everyone. But, there were just as many big moments behind the scenes. As usual, Billboard keeps you up to date with thirteen things you didn’t see on the ABC broadcast….
CMA Awards 2013
Brett Eldredge Takes The Plunge: On the red carpet, new artist of the year nominee Brett Eldredge talked about skydiving recently to celebrate the chart-topping success of “Don’t Ya.” He plans to add another thrill to his belt. Should his follow up, “Beat of The Music,” hit the pinnacle of the charts, he says he plans to go shark diving to celebrate. He had some reporters go along on his sky jump. We’re not volunteering to go under water!
Hillary Scott — Got Baby, Will Travel: There might be a little bit of separation for Lady Antebellum when they hit the road in 2014. Hillary Scott will likely be traveling solo in a bus of her own. There’s no strife in Antebellum-land, however. The move is to give her quiet time with daughter Eisele.
His & Hers CMAs: One of the sweetest moments of the night was in the song of the year category. For Jessi Alexander, it was her first taste of CMA success as a writer. But, as it turns out there is one CMA trophy at her house. She is the wife of Jon Randall, who earned a song of the year award with Bill Anderson for “Whiskey Lullaby.” She told reporters backstage that now “We can have his and her CMA Awards at the house.”
Love Is All Around: Love seems to be in the air around the Bridgestone Arena last night. Rodney Atkins was walking around the media area with fiancee (and rising talent) Rose Falcon, while Jerrod Niemann was telling reporters that he recently popped the question.
|Red Carpet Interviews|
Seth Meyers Spotted: Seen hanging around the red carpet was Saturday Night Live star Seth Meyers. Rumor has it that the future host of NBC’s “Late Night” and his wife were a guest of the Paisleys. Could he have seen someone he liked well enough to invite to guest on his show next spring? Stay tuned!
Hottest Dates In Town: Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard – the members of double-winners Florida Georgia Line were seen with some rather lovely ladies. Or, as they say,”the hottest dates in town.” It turns out that the two invited their mothers along to share in the evening. But, it seems they had their own agenda – they wanted to be introduced to Jake Owen. Needless to say, Brian and Tyler gladly obliged.
Little Big Town Hint At New Music, Touring: They have won the vocal group of the year now for two years running, and Little Big Town says that has kept their fire lit. Backstage, the group said that winning the award again gets them ready to go back into the studio. They also hinted at a possible overseas tour in the not-too-distant future.
Joint Statement: When asked about ABC’s decision to bleep the word “joint” from her song “Follow Your Arrow,” Kacey Musgraves admitted it was somewhat ironic. “I guess for some reason people feel the need to censor that word, but they leave ‘crack’ in,” said the new artist of the year. She also said a year can make a huge difference. “I was happy to be performing with my band. Last year I had crappy seats, and now I’m holding this,” she said, clutching her award.
Strait Talker: George Strait reflected on being respected by today’s generation of country artists. “It’s nice to have the younger artists come up and say they listened to me back then,” said the entertainer of the year winner. “I had heroes too starting out. It’s very humbling. I’m glad I can still come to these things and be relevant.” He joked that after winning the top prize again, “The cowboy might be ridin’ back in.” Though his touring days will be over after 2014, he’s not selling his bus. Strait said he could never imagine not having a band.
Entertainer Of The Past Four Decades: Strait’s win for entertainer prevented Blake Shelton from repeating as the top winner. Nobody was more pleased about that than…Shelton. “I wanted to hand it off to another young artist coming up,” joked the singer. “That’s what it needs to be. He’s the entertainer of the past four decades.”
When Willie Met Kenny: When asked about his ties to Willie Nelson as this year’s Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Kenny Rogers said that he hadn’t worked with him too much, but recalled a 1989 NBC-TV special that featured the two artists and Dolly Parton. Rogers just might be on the lookout for another song for a duet, as he said he wanted to record with Jennifer Nettles, who participated in the salute to Rogers.
Dream Team: Taylor Swift won two awards during the evening, and also was recognized with the prestigious Pinnacle Award. She said that she assumed the award would be an off-camera one, and wasn’t expecting to be feted by “my absolute heroes. Reese Witherspoon, Mick Jagger, Justin Timberlake, Julia Roberts and so many of my former bosses,” referring to acts she once had opened for, like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, and George Strait. “I’ll never forget walking up and seeing them standing there. I thought it was out of a dream. It was one of the nicest things people have ever done for me,” she said, still visibly moved.
Health Kick: Many noticed the newly-svelte Miranda Lambert. When asked about her new appearance, she said, “I needed to get ahead of the game,” referring to her 30th birthday coming up this weekend. All through my 20s I worked a lot, and that included a lot of fast food, and a lot of late nights.” She said her goal was to “get a little more healthy. “I’ve found a great spot in country music, and I want to keep it. I want to look the part.” She said she really didn’t give much up to drop the weight, except Cheetos. She also said she might have some to celebrate her fourth straight female vocalist of the year win.