(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
You may have noticed that during Wednesday night's (Nov. 30) Grammy Nominations Concert Live, there were no male and female country categories. That is the result of the Grammy people consolidating a lot of categories which, in theory, is the right thing to do. It will streamline the show and, I guess, make things that much more competitive. But when it comes down to the country awards that matter to me, I find it a little disconcerting that there are no long lists of men and no long lists of women to get excited about. And furthermore, it's going to be impossible to compare apples to oranges in what has now become the best country solo performance category. Like how do you decide (not that I have a vote, anyway) between a heart-wrenching ballad like Martina McBride's "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" and a party-boy country-rap tune like Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem." Or choose between a little love song from Blake Shelton, a little hate song from Taylor Swift and a sweet coming-of-age song from Carrie Underwood? Are you glad to see the Grammys consolidating categories, or do you wish they'd go back to an apples-to-apples competition?