Was Actor’s Western Wear Outfit Mocking The Genre?
Ashton Kutcher’s faux cowboy ensemble on Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards didn’t sit well with the country music industry, including some of its stars who bristled at the notion the genre was being mocked.
Kutcher appeared as a presenter in a big black cowboy hat, a red embroidered Western wear jacket and a large belt buckle, accompanied by a similarly dressed entourage he introduced as his “band.” Whatever he was trying to accomplish with the get-up, it fell flat with the country crowd, for whom it recalled Jay Leno’s regular appearances on the same show in the 1990s when it aired on NBC. Leno would routinely show up in string ties and Western garb, and once had the words “possum, the other white meat” written on the back of his jacket. The twitchy industry also generally has a conniption any time country music is portrayed on TV on a set featuring any combination of the stereotypical hay bales and/or wagon wheels.
The night of the show, Justin Moore had some strong (if grammatically incorrect) words for the actor, tweeting: “Seen Ashton Kutcher at the ACMs tonight. What a douche! I don’t care for people making a mockery of the way country artists dress.”
The next day, Moore’s close pal Miranda Lambert weighed in, tweeting, “Was Ashton Kutcher making fun of country or is it just me? Watching it back now and I’m kinda wondering?” Moore then re-tweeted Lambert’s post.
But Kutcher had the last word on the subject. Replying directly to Lambert, he wrote: “I am one of the biggest country music fans you’ve ever met. Wasn’t making fun at all.”
Kutcher presented the female vocalist trophy on the show, which Lambert won.
Several Artists Reveal The Status Of Their Next Albums
As artists won awards at Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards, they were ushered into the pressroom where reporters fired questions at them for a few minutes. In addition to commenting about their wins, several stars revealed the status of upcoming projects.
Jason Aldean (right) said his next album is finished and “in the can.” He estimates radio will get a new single in the summer and fans should be able to purchase the album sometime in October.
He said of the project, “We found some songs that are not right down the middle, mainstream things. There are some really cool songs on there that I think kind of push the boundaries a little bit.”
Miranda Lambert revealed that she’ll be making a second album with her trio side project, Pistol Annies, in the fall.
“The new album will be just what you expect,” she said. “We’re three country girls singing about three country girls’ lives.
“My albums drive my career, so when I say they’re like my children, they really are,” Lambert said after winning the ACM for album of the year. “They’re what makes everything else happen in my life.”
She confessed she wanted that particular trophy “really bad” but added, “I’m good now. I don’t need to win another ACM ever.”
Thompson Square’s Shawna Thompson broke news that the ACM duo of the year winners hope to be in the studio this month working on some new music. Husband Keifer, meanwhile, said their ACM win, “completely took us by surprise. It was a beautiful moment and we got to share it with our fans.”
Taylor Swift Is The ACM’s Youngest Ever Entertainer Of The Year
Now that the dust has settled on last night’s ACM Awards frenzy, it’s time for a few fun facts about this year’s top winners.
Taylor’s Swift’s win in the entertainer of the year category was her second consecutive time collecting the show’s top prize. Swift is the youngest and seventh solo female to take the award in the 40-year history of this category. Previous winners include Loretta Lynn in 1975, Dolly Parton in 1977, Barbara Mandrell in 1980, Reba in 1994, Shania Twain in 1999, Dixie Chicks in 2000 and Carrie Underwood in 2008 and 2009.
Miranda Lambert named her third consecutive win in the ACM female vocalist category. Lambert also took the prize for album of the year, making her the only female to have three consecutive albums win the category. Lambert previously won album of the year in 2007 for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and in 2009 for “Revolution.” Meanwhile, hubby Blake Shelton collected his very first ACM award for male vocalist.
Lady Antebellum’s vocal group win was their third consecutive victory in that category.
Artists Lee Brice, Kelly Clarkson, Eli Young Band, Scotty McCreery and Thompson Square all received their very first Academy of Country Music Awards, with Clarkson scoring two.
Young Singer Lands Evening’s Top Prize
Taylor Swift was named entertainer of the year, in the final prize of tonight’s ACM Awards. The hard-touring, 22-year-old star bested a quartet of men in the category, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton. Both Chesney and Paisley left the awards show empty handed.
Show host Shelton later told the media Swift deserved to win. "I don’t think there is anyone in this business who would stand up there and think otherwise," he said. "But I’m always going to make fun of her in my monologues. She’d better get used to that."
Shortly after her win, Swift also faced the media corps in the press room and said of her fans, who had a hand in voting for the category, “I am so amazed that they keep doing such incredibly nice things for me, these giant gestures, like voting for entertainer of the year. I just want to hug them all the time and thank them for everything.”
Swift also revealed she’s “intensely writing” songs for her next album. “Keep your fingers crossed,” she said. “I would love it if it was good.”
Confesses He's 'Trying To Get Fired' As Show Host
Taylor Swift presented the male vocalist of the year trophy to Blake Shelton, who beat out fellow nominees Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Chris Young in the category.
Onstage, Shelton said, “I didn’t see that coming at all.”
He said the words to Dierks Bentley’s single “Home” applied to him: “It’s been a long, hard ride, got a ways to go.” He added, “That’s how I feel.
I’m proud to take this home tonight.”
A short time later in the media room, Shelton said, “As dumb as it sounds, I really hadn’t thought about the possibility of winning.”
He also addressed a question about the show’s edgier humor this year.
“I felt like last year left some things on the table,” he says, blaming his own caution as a first-time show host. This year, he said, he wanted to show more of what fans expect from him.
“I’m also trying to get fired,” he quipped. “I’m longing for the days when I was just the guy out in the audience drinking my face off.”
Band Members Suspect April Fools Joke
Backstage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the four members of the Eli Young Band took the stage in the media room to talk about their win in the song of the year category earlier in the evening.
Mike Eli said, “I was waiting for the April Fools joke.”
James Young called the win “surreal,” recalling the more than 10 years the band has been working toward this point in their career, playing in bars and building a “grassroots” fan base. Eli also spoke about the “rough times” when, he said, “We didn’t have vehicles and all lived in one house.”
Added Jon Jones, “We love the people who think we’re an overnight sensation.”
Said Eli of the win, “Dreams come true.” Added Jones, “This is about as sweet as it can be.”
Singer Lands Coveted Female Vocalist Trophy
Miranda Lambert picked up her second ACM Award of the night when Ashton Kutcher—wearing the kind of comical cowboy outfit that makes real fans of the format roll their eyes—announced her name as the winner in the female vocalist of the year category. Earlier in the evening she’d won for album of the year.
Onstage, Lambert said, “Thank you Jesus for giving me this gift I can share with all my fans.” She also expressed her pride in the county music industry, saying, “I’m such a country fan, and I’m so proud of country music. We deserve this [night].”
Later in the media room, Lambert’s husband, Blake Shelton, said, “As a fellow artist, it’s refreshing to see Miranda win those awards, especially album of the year. I’ve never even been nominated for album of the year.”
But, he confessed, “I was pissed she wasn’t in entertainer of the year.
I’m looking forward to seeing her get recognized or that as well.”
‘American Idol’ Winner Lands First Major Industry Trophy
Scotty McCreery is the Academy of Country Music’s top new artist. After bounding to the stage to accept his trophy, the 18-year-old reigning “American Idol,” called fellow nominees Brantley Gilbert and Hunter Hayes “incredible artists.”
The new artist category, along with entertainer of the year, is open to voting by fans.
Backstage in the press room, McCreery called his fans "insane. They’ve been by my side since 'American Idol' and they keep coming out. I appreciate them," he said.
He also spoke about his recently-announced college choice, North Carolina State, close to his home in Garner, N.C..
"At 18 years old, I still have a lot of learning to do," he said. "I don’t think I’m ready to move away from home just yet."
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