(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
It’s no easy task to win two of the biggest awards of the night. But Thursday night (Nov. 1) at the CMA Awards , Blake Shelton certainly did it. He took home the grand prize, entertainer of the year, along with the male vocalist of the year award. That rarely happens. In fact, the last time one man walked away with both those coveted awards, it was Keith Urban back in 2005. So seven years ago, he beat out Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney for the entertainer of the year award. And I remember Urban making it clear that that win was because of his touring and the road band who had backed him at all his shows. “I have the best road band,” he’d said. “Road bands out there, in general, don’t get enough appreciation. I want to send my love and thanks out to all the road bands tonight, particularly my own.” Urban’s wins in 2005 came off a string of pretty massive hits: “You’ll Think of Me,” “Days Go By,” “Making Memories of Us” and “Better Life.” Shelton himself was up against some stiff competition in the vocalist category last night: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Urban. And in the entertainer group he was nominated along with Aldean, Chesney, Paisley and Taylor Swift.