I guess we kind of have Katy Perry to thank for our brand new CMA Award-winning song of the year, “Follow Your Arrow.” Yes. At least, if you believe what Kacey Musgraves recently revealed about her early plans for the song.
In the new CMA special issue of People magazine, Musgraves talks about how she came up with a rough chorus and melody and then took it with her to a songwriting session with Perry.
Musgraves recalled that Perry loved it but ultimately thought she should keep it for herself.
“Honestly, it sounds like something you would sing. You should keep it,” Musgraves said Perry told her.
She did, and “Follow Your Arrow” went on to win big at Wednesday’s (Nov. 5) CMA Awards. But because of the song’s mention of same-sex kissing and marijuana smoking, it wasn’t the easiest song to get played on conservative country radio. (Perry’s own massive hit song from 2008, “I Kissed a Girl” — which had lyrics about being bisexually curious — had had some short-lived radio backlash of its own when it was first released.)
Musgraves predicted the backlash would happen, but she recorded it and released it anyway.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be a radio song — and it was banned in a lot of places — so it’s kind of crazy to me that it’s nominated for a CMA,” she’d said before the song won. “But if there are kids in small towns — or big towns — who don’t feel like they belong, and this song gives them courage to walk taller, that’s better than any award I can ever hope to win.
- 2010, Broken Bow releases Jason Aldean’s duet with Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” to radio
– 2008, Big Machine releases Taylor Swift’s album “Fearless”
– 2004, Darryl Worley, Mark Wills and Rebecca Lynn Howard deliver a Veterans Day performance for troops at Central Command at the Sundome in Tampa, Florida
– 1993, Crystal Gayle performs alongside Harry Connick Jr. at the dedication of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.
- 2013, Rodney Atkins marries Rose Falcon on Captiva Island, Florida
– 2008, Kenny Chesney delivers a surprise free show with The Wailers at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville with guests Kid Rock and Mac McAnally. The set list includes “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven,” “Down The Road” and “Dixieland Delight”
– 2004, “Redneck Woman” becomes Gretchen Wilson’s first gold single
– 2001, “Angry All The Time” propels Tim McGraw to the top of the Billboard chart
- 2011, The Band Perry wins New Artist of the Year and Single of the Year, for “If I Die Young,” as ABC airs the 45th annual Country Music Association awards from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. “If I Die Young” also wins Song of the Year for songwriter Kimberly Perry
– 2008, Randy Travis, Trace Adkins and Martina McBride are added to the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville along with Elvis Presley, Michael McDonald, Little Richard and Jo Walker-Meador, the former executive director of the Country Music Association
– 2006, Trace Adkins’ “Ladies Love Country Boys” video debuts on CMT. The song namechecks Charlie Daniels, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr.
– 2004, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss each win two times apiece as CBS telecasts the 38th annual Country Music Association awards from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House. Chesney takes Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year, for “When The Sun Goes Down”
- 2010, The movie “Country Strong,” starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw, premieres at Nashville’s Green Hills 16 theaters, drawing Luke Bryan, Sara Evans, Dierks Bentley, Mark Collie, Jerrod Niemann and Little Big Town
– 2005, The album “Jason Aldean” is certified gold
– 1997, Now she’s really gone and done it: Shania Twain starts a five-week reign on Billboard’s country chart with “Love Gets Me Every Time”
– 1994, Lauren Alaina Sudderth is born in Rossville, Georgia. After finishing as the runner-up in the 2011 edition of “American Idol,” she hits #2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart with her debut, “Wildflower”
- 2013, Cassadee Pope earns a gold single for “Wasting All These Tears”
– 2008, Taylor Swift’s edition of “CMT Crossroads,” in which she’s matched with classic-rock band Def Leppard, debuts. They team on “Picture To Burn,” “Photograph,” “Love Story” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me”
– 2003, Emmylou Harris tapes an installment of “CMT Crossroads” at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York with Dave Matthews, weaving the Lefty Frizzell standard “The Long Black Veil” into the set. The program is hosted by Radney Foster
– 1998, The Dixie Chicks begin a four-week stay at #1 in Billboard with “Wide Open Spaces”
- 2013, Florida Georgia Line wins twice during the 47th annual Country Music Association awards, taking Vocal Duo and Single of the Year, for “Cruise,” during the ABC telecast from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena
– 2006, George Strait, Sonny James and session guitarist Harold Bradley are officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as ABC airs the 40th annual Country Music Association awards from Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center
– 2002, Alan Jackson wins a record-tying five times in the 36th Country Music Association awards on CBS: Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year; Album, for “Drive”; and Single and Song, for “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
– 1993, Reba McEntire and Linda Davis share the #1 position in Billboard with “Does He Love You”
Four up-and-coming female artists were welcomed into CMT’s Next Women of Country collective during a lunchtime event at Nashville’s City Winery on Tuesday (Nov. 4). All four sang for the industry crowd, while singer-songwriter Jewel served as mentor to address the audience about being a woman in the music business.
Lee Ann Womack and CMT senior vice president of music strategy Leslie Fram hosted the event. Pop star Gavin DeGraw gave the opening remarks for the second annual gathering.
Natalie Stovall and Angaleena Presley led the generous performance lineup — and both artists currently have a new video in rotation on CMT. (Natalie Stovall & the Drive’s “Mason Jar” and Presley’s “Pain Pills” both enjoyed a world premiere on CMT and CMT.com last week.) In addition, Kelsea Ballerini introduced her heartfelt debut single, “Stilettos,” while Kelleigh Bannen previewed a poignant, as-yet-unreleased song, “Church Clothes.”
Mickey Guyton may have been unfamiliar to many people in the room, but she appears to be poised for a breakthrough in 2015 when her debut album will be released on Capitol Nashville. The Texas native told the audience she wrote “Better Than You Left Me” after a long relationship came to an end. Although she offered a beautiful, controlled vocal performance, overpowering emotions got the best of her at the end of the song when she was reduced to tears.
RaeLynn and Maddie & Tae brought a youthful vitality to the event. RaeLynn joyfully thanked Jesus for her first Top 20 single, “God Made Girls,” while Maddie & Tae grinned all the way through their breakout hit, “Girl in a Country Song.” Both videos are in rotation on CMT. After that, Jewel spoke for nearly 10 minutes about her views on the music industry, offering valuable insight to the group of aspiring talent in the crowd.
Lindsay Ell and Jana Kramer then delivered new material that showed their vulnerability. Ell’s “Shut Me Up” underscores the determination to make it in the music business, while Kramer’s “I Got the Boy” illustrates the bittersweet before-and-after aspect of high school romance.
Brandy Clark was scheduled to perform but was unable to attend due to illness. In her place, songwriter Shane McAnally serenaded the crowd with “Follow Your Arrow” as the event wound down. (He co-wrote the CMA-nominated song with Clark and Kacey Musgraves.)
In addition to the artists mentioned above, the Next Women of Country class also includes Lauren Alaina , Danielle Bradbery, Laura Bell Bundy, Sheryl Crow, Sarah Darling, Rose Falcon, Rachel Farley, Lucy Hale, Kristen Kelly, Nikki Lane, Ashley Monroe, Musgraves, Cassadee Pope and Holly Williams.
- 2013, Blake Shelton is the only country artist nominated twice in the annual People’s Choice Awards. “The Voice,” the NBC series that uses him as a coach, is also nominated for Favorite Competition TV Show
– 2003, Alan Jackson and Johnny Cash win three trophies each in the 37th annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House on CBS. Jackson earns Entertainer of the Year; Male Vocalist; and Vocal Event, for “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”
– 2001, Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello perform together in New York for the first installment of “CMT Crossroads,” designed to mix country and non-country acts. Williams wrote Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Passionate Kisses”
– 1982, RCA releases Alabama’s “Christmas In Dixie”
- 2013, Capitol releases Luke Bryan’s “Drink A Beer” to radio. Songwriter Chris Stapleton provides background vocals
– 2006, Dierks Bentley goes the distance to #1 in Billboard, topping the country singles list with “Every Mile A Memory”
– 2003, Kenny Chesney records “When The Sun Goes Down” in Nashville during a session with rock artist Uncle Kracker
– 1986, Tammy Wynette enters the Betty Ford Clinic with an addiction to painkillers