Country Music got completely shut out this year for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). Not even Taylor Swift or Lady Antebellum, country’s hottest cross-over acts, got a single nomination in any category. Last year, Taylor Swift’s “Fifteen” was nominated for best female video but lost out to Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance.” It looks like country music has slowly been faded out from the awards since Kanye West’s interruption of Swift’s best female video win for “You Belong With Me” in 2009. That event set off the country music world on Twitter, with everyone from Kelly Clarkson to Blake Shelton sending nasty tweets West’s way for stage crashing her acceptance speech.
There’s no question that Swift is one of the strongest country crossover acts in nearly a decade, and even Rolling Stone agreed by naming her and Underwood the “Queens of Pop” earlier this month. Swift has been nominated for both pop and country Grammy awards. She’s one of the biggest acts today, selling out arenas and singing in the pouring rain for her fans… but she isn’t good enough for an award on a pop music show. The MTV VMA’s have a best rock and best hip-hop category (which end up being nominated for “best video” anyway), but no best country category.
What’s even more shocking is that Lady Antebellum weren’t nominated either, after the year they had with their own crossover success. Does MTV not want to recognize country music? They seem to love having hip-hop and rap music take front and center at their award shows, along with the usually off-key and poorly choreographed performances that follow.
I guess there’s a reason I usually stick to country music award shows. What do you think? Is MTV ignoring country music, or do you think we’re better off keeping country in country?