The humble beginnings of country and western music included mostly male artists, but the genre has evolved over the last two decades, as proven by this summer's Country Music Television (CMT) Awards show. Over a dozen female artists graced the stage for the June awards presentation. It's safe to say female artists have not only made their home in Nashville, they've taken over.
Leading the pack is Carrie Underwood. Underwood received five nominations in 2012 and took home the award for Video of the Year for her single "Good Girl." Underwood also won Collaborative Video of the Year for her duet with Brad Paisley entitled "Remind Me." Since winning "American Idol" in 2005, Underwood has released four full-length albums, including her current chart-topper, "Blown Away." In addition to country love songs, Underwood has had success in the gospel music genre. She won several awards for her single "Jesus Take the Wheel" in 2007. It was recently announced that Underwood will be a return co-host for the Country Music Awards (CMA) show in November 2012 with Brad Paisley.
Fellow female crooner Miranda Lambert was recognized by CMT for both her work with Pistol Annies and her solo work. Pistol Annies lost the Video of the Year Award to Lady Antebellum, but Lambert went home with the Female Video of the Year thanks to her hit "Over You." Lambert skyrocketed to fame in 2003 when she competed on "Nashville Star," a country and western talent competition show. Although Lambert was not crowned the winner of "Nashville Star," she went on to receive the Top New Female Vocalist award from the Academy of Country Music (ACM) in 2007. Earlier this year, Lambert received Album of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year from the ACM.
Lady Antebellum was nominated for three CMT awards and took home Group Video of the Year for their hit single, "We Owned the Night." Lead singer Hillary Scott joined the band in 2008 but has enjoyed success as a solo artist and songwriter as well. Scott, along with fellow nominee Miranda Lambert, penned a song for Blake Shelton in 2010. It made the Billboard Charts and was included on the "Country Strong" soundtrack. She has written country love songs for several other artists as well.
Although she received a nomination for "Safe and Sound," a track from "The Hunger Games" soundtrack, Taylor Swift received no CMT awards this year. Since Swift dominated at both the 2008 Grammy Awards and the American Music Awards, won CMA's Entertainer of the Year in 2009 and 2010, and made a clean sweep at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, she is expected to make a triumphant return in 2013. She is currently on a world tour in support of her CD, "Speak Now World Tour Live."
Other women nominated for country music awards this year include Shania Twain, Grace Potter, Lauren Alaina, Kellie Pickler and Martina McBride. McBride and Twain have won many awards for country love songs over the years. Working legends Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill and Alison Kraus were absent from the event, but all are currently writing, recording or touring.
While the Breakthrough Video of the Year went to Scotty McCreery, it's safe to say as one of the genre's youngest artists he will have to be on his toes if he plans on overshadowing today's hottest female country music singers at CMA awards show in November. McCreery won the video award for a song appropriately titled "The Trouble with Girls."