Entertainment behind the scenes
The Academy of Country Music Awards ended their three-year winning streak as Sunday’s telecast fell short of last year’s surprisingly strong haul. Maybe organizers should blame Taylor Swift.
The three-hour CBS ceremony averaged 13.1 million viewers, down from a nine-year high of 14.8 million in 2009, but up from 11.7 million in 2008 and a record low of 9.3 million in 2007. While Carrie Underwood made history at the Las Vegas bash by becoming the first woman to win the coveted entertainer of the year prize twice, it was perhaps more notable that Swift did not win a thing. The country-crossover star, who was nominated five times, has taken home hardware from every big awards show in the past year. And in each case, her victory coincided with a ratings boost.
The Grammys hit a six-year high of 25.9 million viewers in January after Swift became the youngest artist to win the key album of the year award. Last November, the American Music Awards soared to a seven-year high of 14.2 million viewers when Swift won five awards including artist of the year. And at the Country Music Association Awards earlier that month, viewership rose to a four-year high of 17.2 million viewers after Swift’s clean sweep included entertainer of the year.
In September the MTV Video Music Awards achieved a five-year high of almost 9 million viewers, but Kanye West can probably claim a lot of the credit thanks to his on-stage rant after Swift won a statuette he said should have gone to Beyonce. At last year’s ACM Awards Kenny Chesney was the big winner. But Swift was honored for best new female vocalist and stole the show with a water-drenched performance.
Its only been four years since Carrie Underwood won American Idol, but it felt like a long-overdue coronation when she was named entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
The 26-year-old superstar beati out Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and George Strait, four of country music’s top-selling male artists, all of them at least a decade older, to cement her place as the biggest star of country music’s next generation.