Last night’s (Wednesday, November 2nd) 50th annual CMA Awards was an evening to remember for many with the help of hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. The three-plus hour show paid tribute to the Awards’ 50-year history, which included various artists paying homage to some of country music’s greats at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
To kick off the music-filled evening, Vince Gill took the stage and was joined by the late Merle Haggard’s son, Ben Haggard, and performed “Mama Tried.” Roy Clark and Brad Paisley then paid tribute to the late Buck Owens — who passed in 2006, and performed, “I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail.”
Carrie Underwood then hit the stage and belted out Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man.” Following Carrie was Charlie Daniels, who sang, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” The other opening performers included Dwight Yoakam singing “Guitars, Cadillacs,” Charley Pride performing “Kiss An Angel Good Morning'” and Reba McEntire sang “Fancy” — which was originally performed by former CMAs host Bobbie Gentry. Also, there were snippets of Alabama’s “Mountain Music”, Ricky Skaggs’ “Country Boy”, Alan Jackson’s “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” and Clint Black’s “Killin’ Time.”
The opening performance took the audience through an emotional roller coaster, and many were filled with tears when all of the performers together sang Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever, Amen,” while Travis — who was recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, stood on the stage and sang a portion of his record as well.
Entertainer of the Year: Garth Brooks
Male Vocalist of the Year: Chris Stapleton
Musician of the Year: Dann Huff
Female Vocalist of the Year: Carrie Underwood
Pinnacle Award: Kenny Chesney
Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
Vocal Duo of the Year: Brothers Osbourne
Album of the Year: Eric Church, Mr. Misunderstood
New Artist of the Year: Maren Morris
Song of the Year: Lori McKenna, “Humble and Kind”
Single of the Year: Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man”
Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award: Dolly Parton
Music Video of the Year: Chris Stapleton and Tim Mattia, “Fire Away”
Musical Event of the Year: Dierks Bentley and Elle King, “Different for Girls”
Congratulations, again, to Eric Johnson of Midland. He was the ultimate winner. Eric was there and saw every moment in person. He was our winner of the Kicks 99.1 CMA Golden Anniversary Giveaway!