Taylor Swift may have crossed over into the pop genre with ease and winning new fans as a result, but on Wednesday’s award show she got a CMA win for her contribution to country music. 2013 has been a year of accomplishment for Swift. She has won multiple awards for her music and she recently donated $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame for an education “facelift” and addition of classrooms.
Swift began in country music when she was a teenager and she signed her first recording contract at the hall of fame. The 23 year-old singer/songwriter is one of the few performers who has easily crossed genres with her music. It is this ability that garnered her nomination and win for the rare Country Music Pinnacle Award that she collected on November 6.
The Country Music Awards created the Pinnacle Award in 2005. Only one other country entertainer has been given the award. In 2005, the first, and until Wednesday night the only, country star to receive the award was Garth Brooks. The CMA’s were started in 1967 and singer Eddy Arnold won Entertainer of the Year on the first televised coverage of the event.
Swift tearfully accepted her award on Wednesday and said that even though she had been told in advance that the would be receiving it, she didn’t realise what would actually happen. The Pinnacle Award, was created in order to recognise an artist who had received national and international prominence through the combination of concert performances and record sales. These two factors would be over and above other similar artists.
The young singer/songwriter got her CMA win for her outstanding contribution to country music. The award also recognised how easily she has moved between genres. In addition, Swift has, because of her cross genre popularity, made more of her fans aware of country music and her songs in the genre.
Taylor Swift blasted into the country music scene in 2006 and she has effortlessly moved between her country roots and the pop genre repeatedly. Her win reflects this and her phenomenal popularity in both genres. The singer’s second album Fearless was the best selling album of 2009 and her next two albums, Speak Now and Red have done very well, with her latest album selling over 6 million globally.
The singer/songwriter performed the single Red from her latest album and had been nominated for several other awards in the show. Wearing a “wine-colored” evening gown, the singer thanked all those established country singers who had allowed the young artist to “open” their acts when she first started out.
Three artists who supported the, then, teenage Swift included George Strait, CMA co-presenter Brad Paisley, and Keith Urban. Taylor recalled that she would sit at the side of the stage and watch Paisley “every single night” because she thought he was so funny. She also said that she knew she could never be that funny and it saddened her.
The Red singer was not sad on Wednesday though. She cried tears of joy as she said thank you to the crowd and that she loved them all for making her feel so special. Swift was congratulated by the cream of the entertainment business as Reese Witherspoon, Justin Timberlake and Julia Roberts passed on their well wishes. Other entertainers who passed on their well wishes were Mick Jagger and Ellen DeGeneres.
Swift also took home the Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year which she shared with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban for Highway Don’t Care. She was nominated a total of five times in the show.
With all the contributions that Taylor Swift has made to country music, not including her generous donation to the Country Music Hall of Fame, it seems only logical that this popular young star should win this rare award. She has never forgotten her country roots and she returns to the genre on a regular basis. Her win of The Pinnacle Award at the CMA shows just how much the industry recognises and respects her work.
By Michael Smith