The 50th annual CMA Awards were certainly a night to remember! Held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, the power-packed show did not disappoint, featuring everything from all-star tributes to incredible performances. Here are just some of the highlights from the 2016 soiree:
From Carrie Underwood to Clint Black, the stars came out to honor country music’s best. Just some of the amazing songs performed during the all-star tribute include Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man,” which was brought to life by Underwood’s glowing voice, Charlie Daniels tearing it up on the fiddle for “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” Reba McEntire igniting the stage with “Fancy” and more. But the shining, and tear-inducing, moment came when Randy Travis came out on stage for the grand finale as several country stars performed “Forever and Ever Amen” with many guests in the audience becoming overwhelmed with emotion in the process. It was an honorable display of what country music is all about.
Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks
When news broke yesterday that Beyonce was rumored to take the stage with the Dixie Chicks, it was no secret that a shock wave of excitement took over country music. The rumors proved true when the superstar took the CMA stage to sing “Daddy Lessons” off her latest Lemonade, a song the trio has been performing out on the road all year long on their recent tour. The Dixie Chicks delivered an incredible performance alongside the pop superstar that included a soulful jazz band and tons of energy to match. The legendary performance ended with a stunning harmonization between the two acts that left set chills down my spine.
Maren Morris sings “My Church”
The country newcomer has already made a name for herself with her hit “My Church,” but she really proved herself as a breakout star with her soulful performance of the song at the CMA Awards. Backed by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Morris let her vocals and stage presence shine as she made a remarkable debut on the CMA stage. Her raw vocals and unique sound make her a young force to be reckoned with.
Dolly Parton tribute
With it being the 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards, it was only natural to honor a revolutionary artist in the genre and multi-time CMA Award winner Dolly Parton. Jennifer Nettles, McEntire, Underwood and Kacey Musgraves all came together to honor the legend and perform some of her greatest hits including a reprise of “I Will Always Love You,” “9 to 5,” “Here You Come Again” and an amazing rendition of “Jolene” from Nettles and acapella group Pentatonix. Parton was also honored with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award for her incredible career in country music.
This and so much more made for a stellar 50th anniversary of country’s biggest night! Check out the full list of the night’s winners below:
Entertainer of the Year – Garth Brooks
Album of the Year – Eric Church, Mr. Misunderstood
Female Vocalist of the Year – Carrie Underwood
Male Vocalist of the Year – Chris Stapleton
Vocal Group of the Year – Little Big Town
Vocal Duo of the Year – Brothers Osborne
Single of the Year – Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man”
Song of the Year – Lori McKenna, “Humble and Kind”
New Artist of the Year – Maren Morris
Pinnacle Award – Kenny Chesney
Musical Event of the Year – Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King – “Different for Girls” –
Music Video of the Year – Chris Stapleton, “Fire Away”
Musician of the Year – Dan Huff