Carrie Underwood Outdoes Herself Again with 10-Plus Wardrobe Changes at the …

5 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2015 CMA Awards: 12 Best and Worst Moments.

The third-to-last song on Chris Stapleton’s Traveller consists of six slow-burning minutes in which the bushy-bearded singer makes his career sound like a pretty big bummer.Chris Stapleton swept the CMA Awards last night, winning more trophies than any other act while stealing the show with a pair of country-soul duets alongside Justin Timberlake.

The revolution was televised last night, as the 49th annual CMA Awards upended its recent tradition of retreads and took a hard turn toward recognizing substance, bestowing three deserving trophies on powerhouse singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton and crowning Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” the belle of the ball. After more than a few years of suffering through the reign of “bro country,” viewers were surprised to see the night reward many of the genre’s most exciting and most progressive new talents. Carrie Underwood wowed as the co-host of 2015 CMA Awards in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Nov. 4, with her impressive pipes, comedic timing, and of course her wardrobe changes! He drives all night to Billings; he sleeps all day in Utah; he can’t remember stopping in Denver—it’s all a wasted blur because “I live my illusion that somebody needs me to play.” The chorus ends, “I miss my son / I miss my wife / But the devil named music is taking my life.” It sounds like the confessions of a road-tested veteran, which the 37-year-old Stapleton in fact is.

Already a household name in Nashville’s songwriting community, where he’s been penning tunes for A-listers like George Strait, Luke Bryan and Adele since 2001, the newly-turned solo artist is still something of a mystery to the general public, leading to plenty of “Who is Chris Stapleton?” queries on social media today. And it was Justin Timberlake of all people who helped remind the assembled about the roots of the genre in his scorching country-pop-gospel collaboration with Stapleton. Both Song of the Year and Single of the Year went to Little Big Town’s homophobe-tweaking homosocial ballad “Girl Crush,” for example, while Maddie & Tae won Music Video of the Year for their instant classic satire of bro country, “Girl in a Country Song.” Rumors that the awards signaled the death of bro country may have been exaggerated: The king of bro country, Luke Bryan, took home the night’s biggest award. Underwood, who took the stage with co-host Brad Paisley, wore a dozen dresses in just three hours. “Been getting lots of questions about my wardrobe changes tonight-from red carpet to after party I’ll be wearing 12 gorgeous get-ups!” she tweeted before the show began.

You could argue that Bryan’s win made such little impact because it was merely a reiteration, the second year in a row he’s taken Nashville’s most prestigious title. The answer is long, but goes something like this: Stapleton is a 37-year-old Kentucky native who’s written a string of Number One hits for other artists, was once in the popular bluegrass group the SteelDrivers, is married to fellow country singer (and chart-topping songwriter) Morgane Hayes, briefly toured the Bible Belt as frontman of southern cock-rock group the Jompson Brothers, landed a well-deserved record contract as a solo artist, recorded Traveller with producer Dave Cobb and, in the half-year since the album’s release, has been making a rapid (and well-deserved) transition from under-the-radar musician to CMA-winning headliner. The country crooner, 32, who just released her latest album, Storyteller, in October, started off the night in a coral-colored gown by Indian label Gauri & Nainika. Or perhaps it was because the presentation came at the tail end of an overstuffed show, broadcast live Wednesday night from the Bridgestone Arena, that, as always, had to race to cross the finish line. Here are the 12 best and worst moments of the big show. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings.

And there was no artist whose success signaled that more than Chris Stapleton, the longtime Music Row songwriter who turned into a star performer this year with the release of his terrific debut album Traveller. Really, though, Bryan was overshadowed at the CMAs by a more exciting story line: the anointment of a would-be outsider, bushy-bearded Chris Stapleton, as country’s bright new hope. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. After a fitted white dress for the Star Wars-themed opening sketch, the “Before He Cheats” singer wore a pink cutout dress by Rani Zakhem, which she paired with shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti, her Anne Sisteron earrings, and a Le Vian ring. From 2008 to 2010, Stapleton was the lead singer of the SteelDrivers, a blistering gut-bucket-bluegrass quintet founded by some of Nashville’s most gifted behind-the-scenes players.

The album hasn’t produced any radio smashes, and its sales have been merely solid, but critics have loved it for Stapleton’s soulful wailing, huge haunting arrangements, and smart embrace of genre tropes (one song has him lamenting a breakup that “turned my life into a country song”). Stapleton’s supernova voice and timeless lyrics helped make the band a favorite of traditionalists and critics alike, not to mention any fan who stumbled across them. So for the fourth look of the night, Underwood, who’s been married to Mike Fisher since July 2010, slipped into a jean top and skirt by Furne Amato and Tamara Mellon shoes.

A lot of headlines about country music in recent years have cemented the notion of a Nashville machine that’s as corporatized and profit-minded as Hot 100 pop. Derivative “bro-country” supposedly rules; women can’t make the airwaves because of consultants; and radio is seen as the only avenue for success that matters. Stapleton left the band in 2010 to focus on family and songwriting, and was replaced by another outstanding singer, Gary Nichols, but was soon coaxed back into the spotlight. Regardless of whether the night sounded the death knell for bro country, it was a great reminder of the astounding level of talent in Nashville, even if it doesn’t always get amplified by the airwaves.

She wore a sultry minidress by Erevos Aether and Lust for Life over-the-knee boots, as well as Marianna Harutunian earrings, bracelets and rings by Nicolina Royale, and another ring by Bavna. At the same time, country remains—despite outside impressions—perhaps the most self-aware genre going, continually lively with discussions about what it has been and what it should be. But the less said about that, the better.) Other standard-bearers came and went throughout the evening, including a dreary Dierks Bentley, a weirdly aggro Zac Brown and Kenny Chesney, who sounded positively soggy in “Save It for a Rainy Day.” Bryan did an OK version of his sensual “Strip It Down”; Underwood hit her marks in “Smoke Break” but mustered no fire. Stapleton’s CMAs can be seen as a backlash or protest against glossy superstars, or as a sign of change, as Jon Caramanica at The New York Times theorizes: The wins for Mr.

Stapleton and [Little Big Town’s] “Girl Crush” might be an indication that country’s mainstream is doing a more expedient job of assimilating its fringes. It was in the Sea Gayle office that he first bumped into Morgane Hayes, a fellow singer and top-shelf songwriter who scored a big hit with Carrie Underwood’s “Don’t Forget to Remember Me.” Married since 2007, the two have become perhaps the greatest unsung duo in modern country, with Morgane serving as Stapleton’s harmony partner, onstage foil, touring mate and all-around muse. It’s Morgane’s physical reactions — her poise during the ballads and wide-eyed, full-bodied applause whenever her husband hits a high note — that remind you just how amazing Stapleton really is. And Stapleton made an impression sure to boost sales of “Traveller” by teaming with Justin Timberlake for a gorgeous, remarkably assured performance of “Tennessee Whiskey.” Does Timberlake count as a newcomer? Looking at the wider musical landscape, his CMAs night seems analogous to the Grammy ceremonies that have surprised viewers by rewarding anti-mainstream but classically talented artists like Arcade Fire and Herbie Hancock—thereby shoring up the supposed respectability of the award in the face of electronic, heavily studio-controlled pop.

Stapleton’s music, after all, is explicitly a throwback: “If somebody tells me it sounds dated, I’d say that’s great, as long as the date is 1978,” Stapleton said of Traveller to Rolling Stone. With a voice like his, that can hit steeple-high notes in one breath and rumble like a twangy Ray Charles the next, he is capable of making most anything sound good – but paired with his stellar songwriting and ingenious knack for bending modern melody around Nashville tradition, Traveller is the complete package. He’s neither a revered veteran with built-in acclaim nor an over-hyped newcomer but rather someone who has worked and worked behind the scenes and finally decided to make his own statement.

Just listen to “Sometimes I Cry,” the last track of the LP that was recorded in one take in front of a live audience at RCA Studio A: It rips your heart apart while simultaneously mending it, Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” dipped in Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” And the change is Traveller. 4. He and Justin Timberlake are musical (and parental) kindred spirits. “We talk on occasion — ‘Hey man, how’s your kid?’ and all that stuff,” Stapleton, a father of two, tells Rolling Stone Country of his friendship with new dad Timberlake. So the two had Wednesday night’s CMA plan in place before the nominations even rolled in. “He’s one of the greatest musical talents in this world,” Stapleton says of Timberlake.

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