A Look Back at 10 Years of the CMA Songwriters Series

The CMA Songwriters Series pays tribute to the hardworking folks behind today’s biggest Country hits, allowing the most celebrated songwriters in the business to perform and tell the stories behind their creations in an intimate venue. On Feb. 11 and 12, the CMA Songwriters Series returns to Joe’s Pub in New York City to help ring in the 10th anniversary of the show’s inception.

As we celebrate a decade of showcasing our favorite songwriters, let’s take a look back at some special moments in the show’s history, including superstar guests, hilarious stories and rare duets!

In December 2010, Little Big Town brought a taste of Country to our nation’s capital at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., joined by songwriters Brett James and Lori McKenna.


In August 2011 at the Royale Nightclub in Boston, Kenny Chesney teamed up with Country hit makers Brett, Matraca Berg, Wendell Mobley and Craig Wiseman. Below, Kenny explains what made him want to cut his hit record “You + Tequila” and shares a special duet with Matraca, one of the masterminds behind the song.

At the same Boston club in 2012, Carrie Underwood shared some special moments and beautiful duets with the songwriters responsible for a few of her biggest hits, including Brett, Hillary Lindsey and Luke Laird.

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Last year in Austin, Lee Brice, Randy Houser and Jerrod Niemann gave an acoustic twist to some of their Country favorites, including “Crazy Girl,” “One More Drinkin’ Song,” and “Anything Goes.”


Miranda Lambert, who has written and co-written several of her own songs, joined Brett and Kip Moore last year in Boston to celebrate the art of songwriting. Miranda explains here how her concealed handgun class gave her the inspiration for her first Top 10 hit, “Gunpowder and Lead!”

BONUS: On the same night in Boston, Kip told a hilarious story of how an audience heckler made him stop mid-song and burst out laughing!

And of course, we cannot forget our faithful host of almost every CMA Songwriters Series show since its inception, Bob DiPiero! In addition to his hosting talents, Bob has written hits for Tim McGraw, The Oak Ridge Boys, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, George Strait and Martina McBride, and remains one of the most celebrated writers in the business. Thanks for hanging with us all these years!

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Have you had the chance to attend a CMA Songwriters Series show yet? What was your favorite moment?

For a list of upcoming Songwriters Series shows and links to purchase tickets, check out our website: http://countrymu.sc/CMASS

Hope to see you there!

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Country at the Super Bowl

Country Music and football season go hand-in-hand, with Hank Williams Jr., Faith Hill, and Carrie Underwood singing the national anthem for the Sunday and Monday Night Football festivities in the past. When it comes to the Super Bowl, pop and rock acts have historically dominated the game’s events, but there have been many times when Country Music has left its mark on the most-watched TV event of the year.

With the Super Bowl fast approaching this weekend, let’s take a look back at some of times that Country Music took center stage and rocked it during the Super Bowl pre-show, halftime show and even the commercials.

Back in 1994 for Super Bowl XXVIII, Country definitely took over the game with the “Wavy Lay’s Rockin’ Country Sunday” halftime show. Country stars Wynonna and Naomi Judd, Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt and Brooks & Dunn filled the stadium with tunes from the heartland, marking the first time a Super Bowl halftime show was filled entirely with Country Music.


A bit more recently, Country and crossover legend Shania Twain starred in the Super Bowl halftime show in 2003 alongside No Doubt and Sting. Also, before the game, the Dixie Chicks served up a beautiful rendition of the national anthem, giving Super Bowl XXXVII a double dose of Country Music girl power.

Speaking of the national anthem, it seems that Country Music stars have made several appearances during the pregame performances, singing the songs that salute our nation. In 1993, Garth Brooks tipped his hat to America with his own rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” while actress Marlee Matlin signed the song.

Before the Super Bowl XXIV game in 2000, Faith Hill delivered the national anthem so powerfully and passionately that it is considered one of the best all-time performances of the song.

Country Music stars can do more than just sing for the Super Bowl—they’re stars of the commercials, too!

Willie Nelson made light of his tax troubles with a clever commercial for H&R Block that aired during the 2003 Super Bowl.

This year, Country Music got a Super Bowl commercial shout out from Ellen Degeneres, who featured Brandy Clark’s “Stripes” in her new ad for the Beats Music app which will air during this Sunday’s game.

We’ll be on the lookout for more Country stars making an appearance during the big game this weekend. Will you be watching?

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Host Spotlight: Jennifer Nettles Shines this Holiday Season

Country Music fans can celebrate Christmas early this year with Jennifer Nettles during “CMA Country Christmas!” In preparation for this holiday special, we are shining a spotlight on the enchanting Jennifer Nettles, who will host the two-hour event for her fourth year in a row.

Jennifer Nettles and Snoopy.nettles1

The power-house lead vocalist of Sugarland and newly solo artist spreads all kinds of holiday cheer, flowing seamlessly through the show and its unique acts. “CMA Country Christmas” plays off of a traditional, old-fashioned variety show, offering a little bit of something for viewers of all ages to enjoy. What makes Jennifer Nettles the perfect host? She can dance along in shiny costumes to catchy holiday tunes, then turn around and uphold tender traditions that remind us all about the true meaning of Christmas. The evening will be an event to remember for the entire family.

Take a look at these unforgettable moments from last year’s “CMA Country Christmas” special, where Nettles shows both her sassy and sentimental sides.

This year’s show was taped at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Friday, Nov. 8th and will air on ABC on Monday, Dec. 2 at 9|8c. Outside of hosting “CMA Country Christmas” this year, Nettles has been working on her debut solo album, That Girl, which will be out on Jan. 14.Jennifer-Nettles that girl

There is only one week left until you can watch Jennifer Nettles take the stage with several of your favorite Country superstars including Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen and so many more!

Tune in to “CMA Country Christmas” on Monday, Dec. 2 at 9|8c on ABC!

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CMA Songwriters Series Comes Home to Music City

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — in Country Music, that is! Between the many happenings of Country Music Month and “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” just one week away, there’s a little bit of something for everyone right now.  In the mix of all the fun, we are highlighting one more amazing event that you won’t want to miss.

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The CMA Songwriters Series will take on Nashville next Tuesday, Nov. 5, for a captivating evening of talent featuring songwriters Brett James, Love and Theft, Brandy Clark, and Shane McAnally.  The show will take place at the brand new CMA Theater inside one of Nashville’s signature landmarks, The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum.


What better way to spend the eve of “Country Music’s Biggest Night” than experiencing the heart of the music in its rawest, truest form?  Tickets  are going fast, so claim yours soon! Doors open at 8:30pm, and the show starts at 9:00pm.  We’ll see you there!

Read more about the #CMASONGWRITERS Series here!

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Beyond the Horizon

CMA Awards ‘New Artist of the Year’ winners consistently prove they deserve to be hanging with Country Music veterans.

The CMA Awards’ ‘New Artist of the Year’ title recognizes the Country Music artist or group that has, for the first time, shown the most significant growth in performance, professionalism, and chart activity throughout the year. It all began in 1981 with Teri Gibbs as the inaugural winner. What was then called the ‘Horizon Award’, grew in prestige and tradition until it was officially renamed ‘New Artist of the Year’ in 2007. Since then, this Award has developed into an honor that recognizes extraordinary potential and paves the way for future success in Country Music. Because artists are only eligible for this Award for their freshman and sophomore albums, the winners belong to an esteemed group that rose to the top during the competitive, “make-it-or-break-it” time in their careers.

If history tells us anything about the future, you can expect to see these names around for a while. Their talent is undeniable, and ‘New Artist of the Year’ winners rarely disappoint. If you asked us, we’d say the CMA voters know how to pick ‘em!

Joining the ranks with superstars Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, LeAnn Rimes, Brad Paisley, and Keith Urban, many of the recent ‘New Artist of the Year’ winners are now some of the most successful figures in Country Music. Here are the past 10 ‘New Artist of the Year’ winners and the hits that catapulted them to the CMA Awards stage.


2003: Joe Nichols, after “The Impossible” and “Brokenheartsville” from Man With A Memory


2004: Gretchen Wilson, after “Redneck Woman” and “Here for the Party” from Here for the Party


2005: Dierks Bentley, after “Settle for a Slowdown” and “Come a Little Closer” from Modern Day Drifter

awards06__win__underwood__carrie_horizon_2_55402006: Carrie Underwood, after “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “Before He Cheats” from Some Hearts

41st CMA Awards2007: Taylor Swift, after “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops on My Guitar” from Taylor Swift

awards08_win_newartist_8826_101052008: Lady Antebellum, after “Love Don’t Live Here” and “Lookin’ for a Good Time” from Lady Antebellum

awards09_win_rucker_newartist_2892_141372009: Darius Rucker, after “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” and “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” from Learn to Live

awards10_win_newartist_3602_176472010: Zac Brown Band, after “Chicken Fried” and “Toes” from The Foundation


2011: The Band Perry, after “If I Die Young” and “You Lie” from The Band Perry


2012: Hunter Hayes, after “Storm Warning” and “Wanted” from Hunter Hayes

The ‘New Artist of the Year’ nominees for “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” are:

Lee Brice, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Kacey Musgraves, Kip Moore

To find out who the 2013 New Artist of the Year will be, join us LIVE for the “The 47th Annual CMA Awards,” Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 8|7c on ABC.

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Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not?

As we gear up for the 2013 CMA Awards next month, we can’t help but think about some of those special moments that Country couples share at these unforgettable events. We love seeing them celebrate their success and love for each other with a little PDA. Take a look at some of our favorites over the years.

Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square celebrate with a smooch as they win the 2012 CMA Award for Vocal Duo of the Year.

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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill can’t take their eyes off of each other as they lean in for a kiss on the CMA Awards Red Carpet.


Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert share an emotional kiss at the 2012 CMA Awards after winning Song of the Year for “Over You.”

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Garth Brooks plants one on Trisha Yearwood  at his Country Music Hall of Fame induction in 2012.


And quite possibly the cutest one of them all would have to be Blake giving Luke Bryan some love on the Red Carpet at the CMA Awards.

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Tune in to “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 8|7c on ABC to see which stars will be puckering up for the kiss cam!

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Taylor’s Memorable Reactions to CMA Awards Wins

With SIX CMA Awards nominations this year, Taylor Swift will definitely have a chance to take home some hardware. And with several wins in the past, she has had some seriously unforgettable reactions!

Taylor wins her first ever CMA Award in 2007. The CMA Horizon Award, now known as the CMA New Artist of the Year award, was presented by the 2006 winner – Carrie Underwood.

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Taylor begins a string of wins in 2009, taking home the CMA Album of the Year award.

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And again in 2009 – CMA Female Vocalist of the Year! Whaaaat??

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And AGAIN taking home the ultimate Country Music honor – CMA Entertainer of the Year. What a year for T-Swift!

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She’s at it again in 2011 ending the night winning CMA Entertainer of the Year!

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Nov. 6 could be another big night for Taylor Swift at “The 47th Annual CMA Awards.” She is tied for the most nominations including Entertainer of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year. Tune in on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 8|7c on ABC to see all of Taylor’s reactions as the 2013 CMA Awards are announced LIVE!

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