I should tell you when I first decided to write this review of the CMT Music Awards I was pretty sure it was going to be pretty negative in nature. When I began to watch the show I was being barraged by celebrity cameos, r&b remixes, crazy outfits, and even a performance by Pitbull, yes the rapper, Pitbull. I really had all I could do to not turn the show off when Luke Bryan came onto stage with just his acoustic guitar and began singing. AHHHHH - there is the country music I love, and that is where I began to have an epiphany.

It occurred to me that the CMT Music Awards were a perfect representation of something that has been driving me crazy for a while. I get that there seems to be a movement by some to PUSH country music even further into the mainstream.  Why not, this great music should be enjoyed by everyone who wants to give it a try. The problem is, some people who I suspect are not even country music fans are trying too hard to make country music mainstream instead of just exposing what makes it great to a mainstream public. I know there are so many young people who enjoy both rap and country music, but that doesn't mean they want some sort of weird weird pop/rap/country hybrid that is no longer identifiable. Country music is and has always been more than music- it is also a lifestyle.

"But Sean county music and even the country music lifestyle has changed a lot over the years". Yes, that is true, but in the past it was driven to it's change by the young country artists who love where they came from as much as they love where they are going. These days it is being driven by executives, corporations, and marketing strategists who as I said earlier I believe have no idea what country music and it's lifestyle truly was, is or should be. They just feel like if they throw some baggy pants on an artist, add an r&b beat and a hashtag campaign they can "sell" country to the mainstream. UGH.

Getty Images for CMT

What these so called experts on millennials will never admit to anyone (because their jobs would be deemed meaningless) is that you can't "sell" ANYTHING to young people these days. The best way to get them to reject a "trend" is let them know it's a trend. That is the best way to alienate them. You know how you attract a young loyal following these days? Be talented, be real and THEY WILL FIND YOU.

Here is the good news. What I did notice as I watched more of the show was that even through all the glitter and crossover attempts, there are still real country artist doing real country music and as long as we have that, we will be fine. I really just wish more people saw that. All we need is to be true to who we are and let the real artists and amazing music do the rest.

So, thank you Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton and a few others for saving that show just by going on stage and doing what you do.....and nothing more.

It never needed anything more. Never will.

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