- 2008, George Strait and co-producer Tony Brown share Album of the Year, for “Troubadour”; and Single of the Year, for “I Saw God Today”; during the CBS telecast of the 42nd annual Country Music Association Awards at Nashville’s Sommet Center
- 2003, George Strait receives the National Medal of Arts from president George W. Bush and the National Endowment for the Arts in a ceremony at the White House. “Austin City Limits” also becomes the first television program to win the honor
- 1992, Billy Ray Cyrus becomes the first country artist to ship 5 million copies of his debut album, with the latest certification of “Some Gave All”
- 1979, Kenny Rogers begins filming an adaptation of “The Gambler” as a TV movie for CBS
George Strait Takes Home 2013 CMA Entertainer of the Year Award
One of the biggest moments during Wednesday night’s (Nov. 6) CMA Awards was the announcement of George Strait as entertainer of the year. With few dry eyes in the room, Strait made his way to the stage appearing stunned.
The humbled legend addressed the press afterward, still elated.
“I was just really, really happy to be nominated again for entertainer this year,” Strait admitted. “It meant a lot to me. I thought there was an outside shot, but not really, seriously. Obviously, I didn’t prepare anything to say, but I’m blown away by this.”
Following the show, Strait was greeted with numerous heartfelt congratulations and great respect from many in the country family.
“It’s nice to have the younger artists come up and say, ‘My gosh, you were an influence on my music’ … because I know I had heroes, too, when I was starting out. So it’s nice to hear that stuff. It’s very humbling.”
“I was standing with Faith Hill with our arms around each other crying — if that answers your question,” replied Taylor Swift when asked for her reaction to Strait’s win. “We were so happy because both of us opened up for him. And I was just having all these memories of these moments and these flashbacks.
“One time [Strait] showed up to my show in Texas, like one of my first headline shows, just to say good luck. It was right after I opened up for him in 2008 or 2007, and I was 17 or 18. And he and [wife] Norma came to the show just to say, ‘Good luck on your first headlining show.’ That’s just the kind of artist he is. When you’re that kind of a person and you win something, everybody is cheering for you and people are crying. And that’s the kind of legacy you want to leave.”
Swift, along with 2012 entertainer of the year Blake Shelton, were two of the night’s other big winners. Though Shelton says he had expected to pass the entertainer of the year award to someone new, he couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
“He’s not just entertainer of the year,” Shelton said. “He’s entertainer of the last four decades. He’s King George.”
For more, tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 9-10) at 11 a.m. ET/PT, and check out CMT.com’s complete coverage of the 47th annual CMA Awards.
- 2009, Taylor Swift wins four times during the 43rd annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Sommet Center, taking Entertainer of the Year; Female Vocalist; Album, for “Fearless”; and Music Video, for “Love Story”
- 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 at the dedication of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.
- 1977, Riders In The Sky is formed in the parking lot of a Nashville club, Phranks & Steins
- 2010, Miranda Lambert wins three trophies–Female Vocalist of the Year; Album, for “Revolution”; and Music Video, for “The House That Built Me”–during the 44th annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena
- 2004, “Redneck Woman” becomes Gretchen Wilson’s first gold single
- 1983, Miranda Lambert is born in Longview, Texas. Introduced on TV’s “Nashville Star,” she combines a feisty attitude and deep sensitivity while winning the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year three times in a row from 2010-2012
- 1962, No, Johnny Cash wasn’t the first to sing it: Hank Snow reaches #1 on the Billboard country singles chart with “I’ve Been Everywhere”
- 2010, Big Machine releases Taylor Swift’s “Back To December” to radio
- 2006, Trace Adkins’ “Ladies Love Country Boys” video debuts on CMT. The song namechecks Charlie Daniels, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr.
- 2001, “CMT Most Wanted Live” premieres the video to Garth Brooks’ “Wrapped Up In You”
- 1990, The Internal Revenue Service seizes the property of Willie Nelson in six states, including his Austin recording studio, to satisfy a $6.5 million debt
- 2009, Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, Ernest Tubb, Kid Rock and Hattie Louise “Tootsie” Bess–founder of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge–are inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville
- 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 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”
- 1977, Bucky Covington born in Rockingham, North Carolina. After competing on “American Idol,” he picks up a recording contract with Disney’s Lyric Street Records, earning a hit with his first single, 2007′s “A Different World”
- 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”
- 1988, RCA releases Alabama’s “Song Of The South”
- 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
- 1997, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band snares its first platinum album, for “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” featuring Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Jimmy Martin, Merle Travis, Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clements and Doc Watson
- 1948, Glenn Frey is born in Detroit, Michigan. As a member of The Eagles, he contributes to the country-rock movement. The Eagles score a lone country hit, “Lyin’ Eyes,” but are lionized with the album “Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles”
- 1941, Singer-songwriter Guy Clark is born in Monahans, Texas. An Americana icon, he writes such hits as Ricky Skaggs’ “Heartbroke,” Rodney Crowell’s “She’s Crazy For Leaving” and Vince Gill’s “Oklahoma Borderline”
- 2006, Reba McEntire and Ronnie Milsap are among the first six inductees in Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame. Also added: Roy Orbison, songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, The Fisk Jubilee Singers and conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn
- 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”
- 1946, Gram Parsons is born in Winter Haven, Florida. As a member of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, and as a solo artist, he becomes an important figure in the development of country-rock. He tours and records with protege Emmylou Harris
Before they were Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard were just high school kids helping out at church. And that, they told me, is one of the reasons their live show is what it is today.
“Our backgrounds in Christian music may not be a huge influence in our music right now, but I’ll tell you what,” Kelley said Thursday night (Oct. 31) when we caught up before their sold-out show in Chicago. “There’s a huge correlation in leading worship and leading 10,000 people in an arena. I would say that’s exactly where we got our feet wet in how to lead people, how to interact with people and how to get them connecting with us.
“Leading worship is how that happened. It might not be the same music, but if you can get people engaged in what you’re doing in church, you can easily do that at a bar or an arena or anywhere else.”
Hubbard added that they both love doing worship music and were involved in it throughout high school and in their college years at Belmont University in Nashville.”
“We both dabbled in writing Christian music,” Kelley explained. “I mean, we’re songwriters at heart, so we just take it day by day, and obviously country’s at the core. We’ve written any kind of song you can think of — some stuff that doesn’t even have its own genre. It just depends on the day. We like to have fun and keep things fresh and really challenge ourselves and find a way to say something that no one else has said.”
Since the duo’s first three singles headed straight to the No. 1 spot on the charts, I doubt they’ll trade in their party themes for straight-up Christian music any time soon. Songs about moonshine, Southern Comfort, lift kits, bikinis and wild cherry lip gloss seem to be working out just fine for Florida Georgia Line. But knowing that their background in worship is how they honed their live shows makes every concert seem a little bit like a religious experience. If they put some candles on a toolbox, it might seem downright holy.