Country Music Association’s entertainer of the year is the group’s highest honor. Although voting is strictly confidential some artists who are nominated have expressed they did not vote for them self.
Miranda Lambert is one of those artists.
“I just feel like it’s such a big deal to be nominated for entertainer of the year,” Lambert said. “I’m kind of weirded out that I got in there. Oh, I just can’t believe it. But I feel like when you actually win it, it’s something that you really have to earn. I have done two headlining tours and they were both this year. You know, I feel like I still have a ways to go before I deserve to take that home.”
Another artist who didn’t vote for themselves:
The three members of Lady Antebellum — Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley — also declared that they did not vote for themselves. Hillary called it “extremely premature.”
The most vocal about this year award nominations is a previous winner herself. Reba McEntire has said she thinks the CMA is trying to shake things up.
“I have heard they are looking for a new regime, wanting to turn things around and to kind of mix up the shuffle,” said Reba McEntire, the 1986 CMA entertainer of the year. “Well, they definitely did. This has sure gotten everybody to talk about it.”
“The only thing that I was disappointed in was the acts that have been headlining for so many years, they were not nominated,” McEntire said. “In particular, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts. I would’ve assumed they would’ve been in that nomination before Zac Brown Band, Lady A and Miranda Lambert.”
Jay Demarcus of Rascal Flatts is a CMA Board Member and admits he is still confused about about the criteria for the award.
“I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of it for years,” said DeMarcus, who is chairman of the artists relations committee. “I still don’t understand it. I sit in those rooms and say, ‘Can someone explain this to me?’ … There are certainly people who have been denied before and I think it’s something that needs to be addressed and fixed.”
Jason Aldean has a completely different take on the CMA Awards. He thinks the whole thing is fixed.
“The average fan doesn’t understand how all that stuff works and the industry probably doesn’t want them to,” Aldean said. “Fans watch a show and they get all up in arms because their favorite artist wasn’t nominated or didn’t win an award they were nominated for. Bottom line is it’s not based on anything, man. It’s based on who can rally the most troops for their guy, and sometimes this guy wins and sometimes that guy wins. It’s just kind of the way it all shakes down.”