CMT 2008 Awards Gets Its Game On

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter


It was a crisp spring night on the campus of Nashville‘s Belmont University tonight, where the 2008 CMT Music Awards took place. Only the second year that the show has been held at the limited-capacity Curb Event Center, there was definitely an intimate feeling about it despite the red carpet, sparkling artists and hullabaloo.

It was a crisp spring night on the campus of Nashville‘s Belmont University tonight, where the 2008 CMT Music Awards took place. Only the second year that the show has been held at the limited-capacity Curb Event Center, there was definitely an intimate feeling about it despite the red carpet, sparkling artists and hullabaloo.


I found my seat just as Keith Urban and Ronnie Dunn riled up into their co-written barn-burner “Raise the Barn.” Then co-hosts Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus started with some playful banter, i.e. Miley making fun of Billy Ray, Billy Ray making fun of himself…”Achy Breaky Heart” dances, mullet jokes, Miley’s career outperforming Billy Ray’s…some good old-fashioned humor that seems, well, timeless. The two duetted on “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” (written by Casey Beathard and Billy Ray)” which seemed about as father/daughter autobiographical as they come, as the song touches on a youngster’s leaving the nest for the real world and a father’s struggle to let her go.

Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift took the most awards (a big CMT belt buckle!), with three and two respectively, and Trace Adkins brought home Best Male Video honors with “Get Your Game On.” (Speaking of Mr. Adkins, you can still enter our “On My Deathbed” contest to win an Epiphone guitar signed by Trace! Go HERE.

You can check out the full winner listings at CMT.com

Moving on, some highlights…Tim McGraw and Faith Hill did a killer duet, face-to-face-on-stools sharing an old-timey microphone, “I Need You” (written by Tony Lane and David Lee). Hill had just a little bit of unforseen rasp in her vocals, and it made for a nice complement to McGraw’s steady and strong interpretation.

LeAnn Rimes kicked into some serious dance choreography on the Chicago-the-musical-inspired “Nothin’ Better To Do.” She co-wrote this one with husband Dean Sheremet and Darrell Brown.

Brad Paisley and Hank Williams Jr. traded verses on “I’m Still a Guy” (co-written with cronies Kelley Lovelace and Lee Thomas Miller) unquestionably the “Dude’s Anthem of the Year.”

There were plenty more great performances and subjects I haven’t covered (though I did, but my computer crashed so I lost half of it…), so for additional coverage, red carpet/wardrobe details, the scoop on Faith’s new funky hair doo, and advice from Kenny Chesney on workout regimen/healthy dieting (that boy needs some meat on his bones), go HERE

Until next year… 


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