Has Country Music Gone More Mainstream Or Are The CMT Awards Just Nominating The Mainstream Artists

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This morning CMT announced all their nominees for the CMT Music Awards and I was shocked to see almost all familiar names on the list. Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton are country musicians I actually know. In fact I know them so well, that I would categorize as pop-country, especially artists like Taylor Swift who perform at all kinds of music award shows.

In years past, I've ignored anything related to country music because it's not really my thing. Some of the names on award show lists might have rang a vague bell, but only because they occasionally show up in gossip columns on or my friend's playlists. But recently the majority of nominees at country music award events ring all my bells, loud and clear.

So it makes me wonder if country music and their artists have gone more mainstream recently and  people are getting past their “I'll listen to anything but country” music rules or if country music award shows are attempting to get a bigger audience by focusing only on the big names with crossover appeal.

And if that's the case, then what happens to all the talented country music artists who get no recognition because their music can't be considered pop-country? Are there any award shows that honor the “true” country musicians?

I know I always hear country music fans complain that Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood aren't real country singers; because of their wide appeal, they're just pop singers who perform with a country twang. Well if that's really true and the country music fans out there really are upset by the fact that country music is being tarnished by pop singers, why don't they speak up about these award shows.

Where is their anger when award shows dedicated to their music pass over their tastes in favor of getting a larger audience? I want to hear from them about this.

So to all the country music fans who read Crushable, what's the deal? Has country music gone more mainstream or are award shows like The CMT awards just nominating mainstream pop-country artists? I'm counting on all of you to me what's going on.