Taylor Swift at the CMA's: Entertainer of the Year, yes -- Female Vocalist, no?
Between her SNL hosting triumph and last night’s total domination at the CMA Awards, Taylor Swift is undoubtedly having the week of her young life. And it’s hard to argue with her Entertainer of the Year prize; Brad Paisley, three-years-running champ Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and George Strait are all superstars of the genre (albeit some of different generations), but none matched the Pennsylvania-bred teen for sheer media domination in 2009. And isn’t what most of these things are meant to recognize, really?
Perhaps more questionable, though, is her statuette for Female Vocalist—won over the likes of Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood. Or as my co-worker Ken Tucker lays it out: Songwriter yes; singer, no. (Though a special dispensation may be made for Best Shakira Yodel by a Not-Shakira On a Network Program).
Watch her CMA performance of “Forever and Always” below, and make your own judgments:
Clearly, she’s nervous here, and perhaps less stair-mastering and hair-whipping would have helped the cause. But is Swift really the vocal powerhouse this award was meant for, or just an industry wunderkind getting the full season sweep from voters desperate to hitch themselves to her runaway pop-crossover success?
More from EW.com’s Music Mix: