Chicago Sun-Times
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Ladies' night at the 2010 Country Music Awards

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As expected, the 2010 Country Music Awards was another celebration of the X chromosome. Wednesday night's telecast, broadcast from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, showcased the talents of country's leading women -- including a tribute to Loretta Lynn -- and chart-topping bands co-led by women, including Sugarland and Lady Antebellum.

It was Miranda Lambert's year. The former "Nashville Star" competitor was nominated nine times and won for best album ("Revolution," released more than a year ago) and best female vocalist, among others. Bonus: Wednesday was her 27th birthday.

The gents had their glories, too, including more trophies for the Zac Brown Band (best new artist) and the night's top award, entertainer of the year, to Brad Paisley.

A complete list of nominees and winners is here.

Plus, our red carpet gallery.

The most anticipated performance of the night was a newcomer to country music: actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Singing the title song from the movie "Country Strong" -- coming Jan. 7, in which she plays an alcoholic country singer -- Paltrow was tentative and still at the microphone but sang strong and clear. Supported vocally and on guitar by Vince Gill, Paltrow slowly warmed to the performance and was rewarded with a standing ovation -- plus a great moment when the TV camera showed Lambert in the front row, clapping gamely with an expression on her face that clearly read, "Huh, not bad."

Paltrow was certainly better than some other female performers Wednesday night at both ends of the generational scale. Country veteran Reba McEntire performed an odd choice of song, "If I Were a Boy," sounding unusually anxious and below her best. Before that, young phenom Taylor Swift sat a piano for "Back to December," from her already million-sold third album "Speak Now" -- a beautiful ballad spoiled by her fourth atrocious TV performance this calendar year. Every soft note wavered, every verse dragged just under pitch. Good songwriter, bad performer, but they keep putting her on TV.

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2 Comments

Who are these people? Do people still listen to country music. Answer no.....since its just soft rock now.

Can you say totally irrelevant?

Thanks for calling out the Taylor Swift performance for what it was: very sad. She just doesn't sing well at live performances lately, and she was way off key. Not to mention at the end, she looked at the crowd with a expression of "what...you guys aren't standing up giving me 10 minute ovations?? Don't you know who I am??" It was a pretty sad moment really. Not to mention, I think her allure has finally wore off: seriously, how many albums are you gonna make about teener-bopper heartbreak and love stories of people who broke your heart? Her music really isn't that country anyhow. Her record sales are pushed by the teenage kids, not the true country fan. Yeah, you're right - i'm on my soapbox. I'm definitely sick of her...

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on November 10, 2010 10:24 PM.

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