Written by on November 9, 2017

A who’s who of country superstars packed the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville last night, hoping to take home trophies at the 2017 CMA Awards. Chris Stapleton and Miranda Lambert were honored as Male and Female Vocalist of the Year, respectively, while Garth Brooks took home the trophy for Entertainer of the Year. Taylor Swift’s name was also called as the winner of Song of the Year, as she penned Little Big Town’s hit, “Better Man.” The band accepted the award in her honor, as Swift is in New York City for “Saturday Night Live” rehearsals. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley hosted the 51st annual ceremony, held in Nashville.

Underwood and Paisley kicked off the awards show with a monologue that included a song about President Donald Trump’s tweets. “He writes little Bob Corker, NFL and kovfe…,” Paisley sang, attempting the non-word Trump tweeted earlier this year that went viral and captured the news media attention for several days. Paisley and Underwood then had an exchange where they tried out different ways of pronouncing “kovfefe.” Paisley went back to strumming his guitar and singing about the possibility that Trump starts a nuclear war with North Korea’ leader Kim Jong Un, who Trump once referred to as “Rocket Man,” because of his tweets. “And it’s fun to watch it, that’s for sure, until little Rocket Man starts a nuclear war and then maybe next time he’ll think before he tweets,” he and Underwood sang.

Eric Church kicked off the show by singing “Amazing Grace,” a solemn reminder of last month’s deadly shooting in Las Vegas at a country music festival, setting a tone for an evening that strived to be hopeful amidst tragedy. Soon afterward, Hootie and the Blowfish took the stage to sing their classic “Hold My Hand.” The band was joined by Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Reba McEntire, Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett and more of country’s biggest stars.

Paisley and Underwood, who hosted the show for the 10th year in a row, took the stage to deliver a somber message about recent national tragedies. “Las Vegas, Charlottesville, New York, Sutherland Springs, historic storms in Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida – the list goes on and on,” said Underwood. “This has been a year marked by tragedy impacting countless lives, including so many in our country music family so we’re going to do with families do: cry together and sing together.”

Dierks Bentley began a moving tribute to Troy Gentry, singing Montgomery Gentry’s “My Town,” and was soon joined by Rascal Flatts, as the audience erupted into cheers. Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry took the stage to close out the song. Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Pink and Niall Horan also performed during the show. Winners included:

  • Entertainer Of The Year: Garth Brooks
  • Single Of The Year: “Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Keith Urban
  • Album Of The Year: “From A Room: Volume 1” – Chris Stapleton
  • Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
  • Song Of The Year: “Better Man” – Songwriter: Taylor Swift (Little Big Town)
  • Female Vocalist Of The Year: Miranda Lambert
  • Male Vocalist Of The Year: Chris Stapleton
  • Vocal Group Of The Year: Little Big Town
  • Vocal Duo Of The Year: Brothers Osborne
  • Musical Event Of The Year: “Funny How Time Slips Away” – Glen Campbell with Willie Nelson
  • Musician Of The Year: Mac McAnally (Guitar)
  • Music Video Of The Year: “It Ain’t My Fault” – Brothers Osborne
  • New Artist Of The Year: Jon Pardi

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