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Will George Strait’s CMA Win Change Direction Of Country Music?

George Strait - 2013 CMAs
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Country Music Hall of Famer George Strait ‘shocked’ many viewers when he was announced as the 2013 CMA Entertainer of the Year.

After his win, I began thinking about just how great the honor might be for the future of Country Music. I’m a fan of all styles of music, and all styles of Country Music, but I prefer and favor traditional Country Music. Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean have dominated Country Radio with their fun rockin’ style of country-rap, Taylor Swift is a diva of all formats with her mass appeal talent, and Blake Shelton is a solid force fusing both traditional and modern elements of Country Music. All four are more than deserving of the honor!

Many fans will admit that Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean were probably considered the ‘favorites’ in the category, due to massive radio and tour success. However, the majority of the 6,000 plus members of the CMA voted for the ‘Countriest’ man in the bunch. Considering George Strait is a traditionalist, A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and a legend at 61, (criteria to be shunned from radio and tv shows) odds were really not in his favor going into the show. However, traditional Country Music Fans were in absolute delight when Country Music’s top prize went to a ‘Cowboy’ who actually sings ‘Traditional’ Country Music, complete with fiddle and steel!

Will George Strait’s win be a sign that record companies and radio station consultants will pay more attention to traditional country artists like Easton Corbin, Joe Nichols, Justin Moore, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young, Josh Turner, Scotty McCreery or even Brad Paisley (who hosted, but did not receive a nomination this year)? I can only hope that this might give a few more hard-core ‘Country’ boys and girls a shot at the next radio station playlist add.

It’s also a good sign for traditional Country Music fans that a country ‘story’ song won the Song of the Year honors: “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice. Not to mention, both the Male and Female Vocalist of the Year winners, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, were probably the ‘Countriest’ in their respective categories. Kacey Musgraves’ win for Best New Artist is also a good sign for traditional fans who like the folksy, singer-songwriter style that’s also been missing from Country Music.

Once again, I’ll point out that I love all styles of Country Music, but as a traditional Country Music fan at heart, I was very pleased with this year’s winners! I only hope that this may open the door to some other artists who “lean” towards the traditional country sound to get on the charts. This isn’t a debate as to what’s country and what’s not (no one will ever win that battle), it’s simply an opinion of someone who wishes a little more steel and fiddle, story songs, and twang can be mixed in with the rest of the hot country songs on the radio.

Now, it’s your turn. Do you think George Strait’s win will change the direction of the Country Music industry? Please leave your comments in the section below.

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