As 2014 is coming to a close, we are in reflection-mode, looking back at all the extraordinary things that happened — in our lives, individually, and in country music as a whole. While Country Music #CMchat changed drastically (and positively) over the past year, some of our favorite artists also experienced monumental, career-changing moments in 2014.
Many of those moments come in the tune of career firsts for the singers/songwriters/musicians we love dearly, making 2014 a memorable year for them, indeed. Whether it was a first award, a label’s first signee, or a first tweet, country music celebrated many a-first in the last 365 days. Let’s take a walk down memory lane, pit-stopping ever-so-briefly at the landmarks that will go down in the history books as firsts, but certainly not lasts.
1. Garth Brooks’ first tweet, Instagram post, Facebook update:
— Garth Brooks (@garthbrooks) November 11, 2014
I am here and ready to hear from you #AskGarth -love, g A video posted by Garth Brooks (@garthbrooks) on
On the date that Garth Brooks released his first full-length studio album in thirteen years, Garth surprised the world — at least the digital world — with his unexpected birth on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Garth celebrated his introduction to social media by visiting Entertainment Tonight and the headquarters of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, embarking on a whirlwind social tour that lasted a full day … a day that began with early morning first posts from #MrYearwood across all platforms.
Three new artists; three award nominees; three award winners; three lives forever changed with the opening of three envelopes. In 2014, Cassadee Pope won Breakthrough Video of the Year at the CMT Awards (during CMA Fest), Brett Eldredge won New Artist of the Year at the CMA Awards, and Kip Moore was crowned Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Inaugural American Country Countdown Awards. While each of these singers-songwriters would have been completely fulfilled having only been nominees for each of these prestigious awards, there is no doubt that they all felt their musical worlds shift under their feet upon hearing their names announced as “winners” for the first time.
3. First ever American Country Countdown Awards (“ACC Awards”):
On the subject of awards, the first ever ACC Awards were held in Nashville, Tennessee on December 15, 2014, produced by dick clark productions, Inc. and sponsored by Samsung Galaxy. Held at the Music City Center in the heart of Nashville, the big guns came out to celebrate the first of many ACC Awards shows. The show was spectacular, filled with stellar performances, deserving winners, and an excited crowd. This might have been the first of the ACC Awards, but, based on how phenomenally executed their first go was at this new show, the best is definitely yet to come!
4. Florida Georgia Line’s first hosting gig:
Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line received their first invite to host a major awards show this year. While we celebrated the first ACC Awards, the event also marked the decorated duo’s first chance to show off their personalities as award show hosts. It may take Brian and Tyler time to have the kind of “hostmance” that Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley have, but we have faith that the two will “cruise” to that status rather quickly.
5. Kacey Musgraves’ first headlining tour:
She might have taken a few trips on others’ tours and in trailers that weren’t her own, but Kacey Musgraves changed all that at the end of 2014 when she hit the road on her headlining Same Tour Different Trailer tour. While Kacey loved every opportunity she had to introduce her music to other artists’ fan bases, she couldn’t help but express her excitement about bringing herself to those who have helped shape her into the artist she is today. And the description of the artist Kacey is today includes a two-time Grammy winner, both of which she received in 2014 — another not-so-shabby first (and second) for the girl who chooses to follow her arrow that always seems to point her directly toward success.
6. Country music’s first artist to reach Number 1 on the Billboard Top 100 Artists:
Blake Shelton didn’t just experience his first trip to the top of the Billboard Top 100 Artists chart, he experienced the first trip for any country artist to the top of that chart. Getting to the top of this specific chart was no easy task, as Blake didn’t just step up to Number 1, he catapulted from nineteen to one in a single week. There was clearly a “neon light” at the end of the tunnel for Blake that week and he found it safely and securely in a place he has become rather accustomed to in the last few years — the Number 1 spot.
7. Nash Icon’s first signee:
Reba McEntire wasn’t just honored with the Nash Icon Award at the Inaugural ACC Awards; she was also signed to the record label of the same name. Reba visited America’s Morning Show in October to announce her new partnership with Scott Borchetta and his new subsidiary of Big Machine Label Group (and Cumulus Media), Nash Icon Music, promising fresh Reba music in the near future. Off to a great start, the “fancy” legend who you can’t “turn on the radio” without hearing had already recorded eleven tracks for her upcoming project. We can’t wait for her first release under Nash Icon!
Which 2014 first was your favorite of the year? Let us know by leaving a comment here or following us on Twitter @CMchatLIVE. Here’s to many more firsts and unforgettables in 2015!