September 5, 2012
Who should appear at CCMA Awards?
By Darryl Sterdan, QMI Agency

Hank Williams, Prince Harry and Kanye West. (WENN.COM, AFP photos)

If you watch this year’s Canadian Country Music Association Awards, you might notice a few changes. The biggest change, of course, would be that this year, you are actually watching the Canadian Country Music Association Awards.

That will most likely be due to the other big change: Organizers have lured country-pop princess Taylor Swift to Saskatoon to be the first winner of something called the CCMA Generation Award — aka A Meaningless Accolade We Pulled Out of Our Butts Solely to Give Taylor Swift so People Outside Alberta and Under Age 30 Will Tune In For Once.

Granted, it’s hard to fault organizers too much for this publicity stunt. The Canadian country universe isn’t exactly star-studded, after all. The reigning king — Johnny Reid, who leads the pack at this year’s awards with eight nominations — barely qualifies as country. And between his Rod Stewart vocal stylings and squeaky-clean image, he isn’t exactly bringing in the kids. As for the other major players this year — Dead Brody, Gord Bamford and Jason Blaine — well, they aren’t exactly household names. So it’s no wonder the CCMA wants Swift in the house when prizes are handed out Sunday in Saskatoon, with the festivities airing live on CBC at 8 p.m. Eastern. (What’s in it for Swift? Well, aside from another chunky tchotchke — and perhaps a nice appearance fee — a trip to Joni Mitchell’s old stomping grounds can’t hurt if she’s going to play the Saskatchewan-born singer in the movie Girls Like Us.) But if the CCMAs really want to bring in more eyeballs, why stop with Swift? Here are some other artists producers can add to juice the show’s numbers:

Hank Williams

Are you ready for some crazy? Just book Bocephus on the award show — and tell him five minutes before he goes on that he’s going to be part of a surprise tribute to U.S. President Barack Obama. Then stand back and let the fun begin. On the plus side, he’s an actual country artist.

Boy Bands


One Direction, Big Time Rush, The Wanted — you might not know them, but trust me, your teenage daughters do. Surely one of them can be convinced to don some Stetsons and boots, learn a Johnny Cash song and do a little two-step. If they balk, make up another award to give them.

Vampires

Cowboys aren’t exactly big with the kids these days. But bloodsuckers? They’re hot. So why not put some fang into the twang? Have the Twilight and True Blood cast hand out major awards and have everyone play countrified renditions of songs like Bad Moon Rising and Werewolves of London.

Jersey Shore

Now that MTV has cancelled their show, that whole pack of losers — Snoopy and J-Cloth and Pauly Walnuts and The Stipulation, or whatever their names are — probably come pretty cheap. And they’re guaranteed to do something idiotic. Especially if there’s an open bar involved.

Prince Harry

Instead of Strip Billiards, why not enlist the spare heir to play Strip CCMAs? The rules are simple: He tries to predict the awards, and every time he gets one wrong, he doffs another piece of clothing. Selling the ensuing pics to the British tabs could likely fund the awards into the next century.

Kanye West

Watching Taylor Swift accepting another meaningless award with her mouth hanging open in fake shock? Yawn. Watching Taylor Swift accepting an award while a split-screen displays a drunken Kanye West sitting in the front row clutching a picture of Beyonce? Now that’s television.