(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Thank God, Kenny Chesney is going to be honored at the CMT Artists of the Year event this year. Because after reading music writer Peter Cooper's story in The Tennessean newspaper about Chesney's CMA entertainer of the year snub, it was starting to get kind of impossible to predict who would win what. In the story, it says EOY honor "goes to an artist who displays the greatest competence in all aspects of the entertainment field, with consideration given to recorded performance, in-person performance, staging, public acceptance, attitude, leadership and overall contribution to 'the country music image.'" Sounds like Chesney to me. Yet he wasn't even nominated. (The nominees are still a stellar group, though, with Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean.) Cooper has a few theories on why Chesney may have been left off this year's list. Could it be because he didn't play a Nashville show? That he took the summer of 2010 off? Or that he isn't part of the inner-industry vote-trading? The CMT Artists of the Year special is based on an artist's music sales, country radio airplay, concert grosses, video streams, searches and page views. So, in a sense, it's another kind of entertainer of the year award.