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CCMA: Dallas Smith Named Entertainer of the Year

LONDON, ONT. – Dallas Smith was the big winner at the Canadian Country Music Association awards show Monday night, winning three honors including artist of the year at a compelling live stream in front of thousands live audience.

The 43-year-old from Langley, BC, who performed his single “Hide From a Broken Heart” to a fully vaccinated crowd at Budweiser Gardens, also won Male Artist of the Year and singles awards. of the year for “Like A Man .”

Smith beat Brett Kissel of Flat Lake, Alta.; Dean Brody of Smithers, BC; MacKenzie Porter of Medicine Hat, Alta .; and Reklaws from Cambridge, Ont. for top entertainers.

The match marks the CCMA’s return to the live events arena for the first time since Calgary hosted it in 2019.

Smith, accepting his first award of the night, thanked the organizers for “doing what they needed to do to get everyone in a building back and bring this genre and live music back”.

Backstage, he called the Entertainer of the Year award “the icing on the cake” to enjoy a weekend with country music fans and artists.

“I’ve had this date on the calendar for quite some time,[it]represents a coming back together for a lot of people in the industry,” he said. “Last year we did what we could with the CCMA … but now we’re back to more normalcy and this should be what it should be.”

The Reklaws, a pair of brothers that includes Jenna and Stuart Walker, won Top Group or Duo of the Year, thanking their parents – “the first duo to shine in our eyes,” Stuart said in their acceptance speech and again backstage.

Tenille Townes of Grand Prairie, Alta., won two awards, repeating as top female artist for the third year in a row and adding an album of the year trophy for “The Lemonade Stand.”

Townes described Monday’s performance as “surreal”, saying backstage that she feels “honored to be part of the Canadian country music community” after a week of the event being showcased as well. limited by an introduction by Patricia Conroy at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

“I just think about all these heroes, the legendary female entertainers I grew up listening to… and it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, what a great day to follow in that footsteps. a dream”, says Townes.

Country music queen diva Priyanka injected some glamor with Calgary co-host Lindsay Ell after COVID-19 restrictions turned last year’s gig into a miniature virtual event.

The two kicked off the show with Priyanka – “Canada’s Drag Race” winner – in asymmetrical blue sequin belts, “Let’s go girls!” and sang Shania Twain’s first line, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.” Sequin-wearing Ell performed a part duet on Bonnie Raitt’s song “Something to Talk About”.

Prior to that, Priyanka paused for photos with fans on the red carpet, flaunting her glamor with a Canadian tuxedo – a beaded denim bodysuit paired with a jacket, boots, and fringed cowboy hat. She said the look was an homage to the denim dress worn at the 2001 American Music Awards by Britney Spears, who was recently released from a 13-year conservatorship.

Priyanka, known as Mark Suknanan in Toronto, said being at the CCMA Awards was “a dream come true.”

“I get to perform, I get to host, I get to be a drag queen,” she said. “People always say country music is too conservative. So it’s great to be seen and accepted and loved so people can see that we’re all in this field… . I’m used to being left out in a room, but I’m not in this room.”

Priyanka then appeared on stage in a cow print jumpsuit complete with long fringes down the sleeves and a black head-to-toe top, with the skin ripped to reveal a heavily bodysuit color while she performed her newly released single “Country Queen.”

Her outfit received some praise from the Washboard Union, a nine-time CCMA Award winner, and the presenters at Monday’s show.

“I’m so excited to see Priyanka here helping us cash in on our wardrobe,” said Chris Duncombe, bearded member of the trio, said. , said before announcing Townes as female artist of the year.

Robyn Ottolini of Uxbridge, Ont., won the rising star award while Kissel won the fan-voted trophy.

Kissel, who did not attend on Monday, also received three awards at a Sunday evening ceremony in London where the majority of the awards were presented.

He won best video for “Make A Life, Not A Living,” as well as a special live creative award for his tour, “Brett Kissel: Live At The Drive-In.” His production company has declared it the best country music show or special for an hour-long documentary about the tour.

Smith also won the best-selling album of the year award at Sunday’s pre-award show while Ell won the interactive artist of the year award. Brody and Reklaws had the best-selling Canadian single of the year with “Can’t Help Myself.”

Monday’s spectacle was streamed live on the Global TV app and Amazon Prime Video, and an encore presentation aired Friday on Global TV.

Reklaws, who led the show with a performance of Sacha’s single “What The Truck,” topped the artist award categories with six nominations over the weekend, while Smith, Kissel and Ell each has five.

US country star Chris Stapleton, who won six Country Music Association Awards earlier this month, performed a virtual performance of “You Should Should Leave” from Sioux Falls, SD Thomas Rhett and Walker Hayes also performed. virtual actors, both from Nashville.

The CCMA implemented a vaccination policy for all Country Music Week events prior to and including the award show. COVID-19 cases have increased in Ontario this month, with 788 new infections reported Monday.

Attendees, including performers, presenters, their teams and guests must be fully immunized to participate in the event. Crowd footage on the broadcast shows groups of spectators wearing masks, which organizers say number around 4,000.

The CCMA Awards return to Calgary in 2022, the organization announced Sunday.

This Canadian Press report was first published on November 29, 2021. This story was made possible with financial support from Facebook and the Canada Press News Fellowship.

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