Tae Dye was still asleep. Maddie Marlow was on the couch in a t-shirt and slouchy pants, watching Good Morning America on ABC. Suddenly, the pair of songwriter sensations from Sugarland, Texas and Ada, Oklahoma were the first award winners for The 49th Annual CMA Awards!
“Oh, my… oh, wow… oh, OH, OH!” Maddie texted her team, “Tae and I just won a CMA!!” She followed the text with a video of her doing a happy dance because “Girl In A Country Song,” the pair’s gender-role-flipping video response to Bro Country, had just scored an upset for Video of the Year against Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon,” Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Biscuits” and Carrie Underwood’s “Something In The Water.”
“We were just so glad to be nominated,” Tae said a few minutes later. “When you see all those amazing artists’ names, and you see yours, you think, ‘Wow.’ You don’t think about winning; you’re just glad to be there. But to win? That’s crazy.”
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But it was the video – directed by TK McKamy – that really captured the spark. At a time when females in Country songs were mute Barbie dolls, Maddie & Tae turned the tables on real boys by casting some normal guys as video vixens.
“This video was so much fun, but it also got a lot of people talking,” Tae explained. “And it really says some stuff about what makes girls matter. I’m honored people saw it as we meant it: more than a joke, but proof you can speak you mind and not be mean.”
“Our parents raised us to stand up for ourselves,” Maddie continued. “To never let anyone tell us you can’t – as long as you do the work – and to know that what makes you matter is what’s inside your heart! We’re funny and smart and we have things to say, and with ‘Girl In A Country Song,’ especially the video, we did that!”
Surpassing 28 million VEVO views, “Girl In A Country Song” is not just one of Country music’s most talked about videos, it’s also one of the genre’s most watched. Believing there’s a place for plucky girls, Maddie & Tae have been smashing stereotypes and empowering young women since their first single dropped late last year.
Now with their first CMA Award, they head into tonight’s show – airing live on ABC at 8/7c – vying for another win as Vocal Duo and New Artist nominees.