Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton host Country Music Awards

Rachel Hagenbaugh

For all the country fans at Kent State, grab a pair of cowboy boots and a flannel shirt, and get ready for a night of country music hosted by Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton. The 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards airs on CBS April 3.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Toby Keith
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Brad Paisley
  • Taylor Swift
  • Keith Urban

All of these artists have some amazing songs that make me want to get up and dance. However, there’s no artist that makes me feel more like a country girl than Toby Keith. Between “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue,” “How Do You Like Me Now?” “I Wanna Talk About Me” and his various other hits, Toby Keith has been my favorite entertainer for years.

Top Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Brad Paisley
  • Blake Shelton
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban

All of these men are great artists. Any of them deserve the award. My bias falls with Jason Aldean for no other reason than the fact that I love “She’s Country” and “Laughed Until We Cried.” These songs aren’t any better than the other nominees’ songs. They are just a few of my personal favorites, so I hope Jason Aldean will take this award home.

Top Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Reba McEntire
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Lee Ann Womack

From her famous hardcore hit, “Gunpowder and Lead,” to her heartwarming “The House That Built Me,” who couldn’t love Miranda Lambert? She’s proven that she can effectively put emotion into a variety of songs. She’s well-rounded, and that’s something not every artist has the ability to accomplish.

Top Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Randy Rogers Band
  • The Band Perry
  • Zac Brown Band

From 2002 to 2009, Rascal Flatts won the award for top vocal group of the year. Last year they were at least nominated. Sadly, this year they didn’t even get a nomination. Like Toby Keith, there are so many of their songs that put me in a great mood. However, it is time to give some of the other great country bands a chance. I’d like to see the Zac Brown Band get recognition for their talents. Whether their songs are lighthearted or serious, it’s hard not to sing along.

Album of the Year

  • “Hemingway’s Whiskey” -Kenny Chesney
  • “Need You Now”-Lady Antebellum
  • “The Guitar Song”-Jamey Johnson
  • “Speak Now”-Taylor Swift
  • “Up on the Ridge”-Dierks Bentley
  • “You Get What You Give”-Zac Brown Band

Song of the Year

  • “A Little More Country Than That”-Easton Corbin
  • “As She’s Walking Away”-Zac Brown Band
  • “If I Die Young”-The Band Perry
  • “Love Like Crazy”-Lee Brice
  • “The House That Built Me”-Miranda Lambert

This one is no competition. “Love Like Crazy” was the first song out of this group on my iPod. The lyrics and beat are so catchy and inspirational but not overbearing.

Video of the Year

  • “Hillbilly Bone”-Blake Shelton Featuring Trace Adkins
  • “Only Prettier”-Miranda Lambert
  • “Stuck Like Glue”-Sugarland
  • “The Boys of Fall”-Kenny Chesney
  • “The House That Built Me”-Miranda Lambert

Personally, I’d be happy with any of these nominations winning the award, except “Stuck Like Glue.” The video was funny but not what I wanted to see for that song. Jennifer Nettles stalks this man, kidnaps him and intoxicates him. I pictured this video to be more heartfelt, cute and funny, not creepy funny.

Contact Rachel Hagenbaugh at [email protected].