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CMA AWARDS 2016 - The Great and Not-So-Great Highlights

Last night, the Country Music Association celebrated their 50th anniversary. Packed with performances from almost all of our favorite artists, laughter, nostalgia, tears, (and sometimes awkward silence), it was truly a night to remember. It was a very monumental night in the heart of country music, Nashville Tennessee. There were countless memorable and unforgettable moments - some of which were great, others of which were not-so-great. Check it out!


1. The heartwarming collaborations.

The CMA awards truly brought on the feels this year. It all started with the show’s opening act. The large mashup included legends Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, Roy Clark, Charley Pride Alabama, Reba, Dwight Yoakam, Alan Jackson, and Ricky Scaggs. Together they put on a show that brought many stars, audience members, and viewers to tears by playing their greatest hits.

Another major highlight was the tribute to Dolly Parton. Jennifer Nettles, Kacey Musgraves, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood banded together to showcase a perfect mashup of Dolly’s top songs through the years. These included “9 to 5”, “Jolene”, “Here You Come Again”, and “I Will Always Love You”. Reba missed a few lines in the beginning, but recovered by saying “I saw Dolly and I got stuck.” Dolly was tearing up through the whole thing. After receiving her award, she said “I would have cried, but I didn’t want to mess up my eyelashes!” Oh, Dolly…

2. Maren Morris’s acceptance speech.

New country artist, Maren Morris, has truly skyrocketed in the industry in the past year alone. It seemed she was beyond herself when her name was called out as the “New Artist of the Year.” Through her tears, Morris said, “Last year, I sat across the street at a bar and watched this show. I never thought as a songwriter I’d be standing here today.” Very touching acceptance speech.

3. The award results.

Chris Stapleton, the humble country artist, took home two awards – Music video and Male Vocalist. The vocal duo of the year award could have easily gone to Florida Georgia Line, but this year, a group of talented Maryland-based brothers were in for a big surprise. Due to their success from hit single, “Stay A Little Longer”, Brothers Osborne took it home. They were shocked, and tried to deliver an impromptu acceptance speech full of gasps, high fives and “WOOO”s. Carrie Underwood FINALLY broke Miranda’s six-year female vocalist of the year position. Garth took home Entertainer of the year, and Kenny Chesney took home the pinnacle award. Dolly took home the lifetime achievement award. All of these awards were much-deserved.


1. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood’s couple jokes.

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley have been hosting the CMA awards for many years. Together, they create a very crowd-pleasing, comedic atmosphere. This year, however, the jokes were crossing the line a bit too far for some listeners. There were a few subliminal political slurs which seemingly received a positive reaction from viewers. The bit that caused the most tension was their Faith Hill and Tim McGraw impression. Underwood and Paisley stood on stage with two Barbie dolls and joked around about what happens in their alone time while on tour. AWK!

2. Dolly Being Cut Off By a Producer.

The last country artist to win the lifetime achievement award was legendary Willie Nelson. This year, Dolly Parton took home the award. Parton explained how the award was a “high” honor, and began to give her thanks and gratitude. Before she could even get to her speech, a producer cut her off. This is a HUGE achievement. Dolly created music for many decades – can’t she have three minutes to give her speech? Her words of acceptance were ended with her laughing and saying, “I had a speech prepared but they won’t let me give it”

3. Faith Hill kept hitting the microphone.

As Faith was presenting an award, her hand kept accidentally hitting the microphone, producing loud and unpleasant “pops”. She laughed it off, luckily.

4. A very long nominee announcement for Kelsea Ballerini.

As the new artist nominees were being announced, each star was supposed to have a set, EQUAL amount of camera time. Due to some kind of production mistake, Kelsea was in for a surprise when her song played for a seemingly extensive amount of time and she was on camera for an uncomfortable amount of time. The same happened to Miranda Lambert, but the issue was fixed by the time the others were announced.

Be sure to check out the full award results on the Country Music Association website!

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