About the only big surprise of the CMA Awards Wednesday was that Blake Shelton won Male Vocalist over the likes of Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and George Strait (Dierks Bentley also was nominated, but I thought he had even less of a chance than Shelton).
It proved to be a great night for Shelton (he also took home Musical Event of the Year for Hillbilly Bone, his song with Trace Adkins), who also is one funny guy. But as he climbed each step to the stage with emphasis in taking the Male Vocalist award, this was not an ordinary award for Shelton.
He was about as surprised as anyone to get it and took a lot of seconds to get out of his seat. Reba McEntire was reduced to tears after the announcement. Even Sehlton's label was surprised, sending out a press release today calling it such.
Could it be that Shelton won because the vote was split amount the three considered the top three? Or that voters wanted someone new to break in? It's hard to argue that Shelton was more deserving than the trio, but that should not be construed as any knock on Shelton. And how could the entertainer of the year (Paisley) not win this award?
Shelton has enjoyed the most important year of his career. His label (Warner) opted to release his new music as a six-song EP (though they call them albums , no doubt for marketing purposes), and he did well with both. A greatest hits package with no new songs just came out Tuesday.
"This is a really big deal for me," Shelton told the crowd in Nashville as he closed his speech.
While awards shows absolutely are not the be all and end all, every little bit of positive news certainly helps in this day and age. Congrats to Shelton.