CMA’s 50, Reviewed


Is today Christmas? I woke up with the same giddy excitement for the 50th CMA show!

So it’s not Christmas but I do have TONS of snacks, sparkling grapefruit water (I really went cray-cray on that impulse buy) and not-gonna-lie I’m wearing the same dress I wore to my sister’s wedding. (WHO SAYS YOU WON’T WEAR YOUR BRIDESMAID DRESS AGAIN? I’LL GIVE YOU AN OCCASION.)


Let me recap for you the first ten solid minutes of the CMAs in one sentence. Basically anyone who has been involved in country music for over 10 years sang a medley of all-time hits, including Reba’s Fancy, Randy Travis’s Forever And Ever, Amen and Alan Jackson’s Don’t Rock The Jukebox.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are singing “the election is lasting, forever and ever.” Clever start to the hosting intro. (And I mean… amen. Pun WAY intended.)

Entertainer of the Year nominees are mentioned, Carrie Underwood’s one of them. Brad proclaims, “#ImWithCarrie.” Love it.

Aweeee you guyssss! Five of our Olympians from this year are giving the first award tonight for single of the year. They look adorable all dressed up. My money was on Chris Stapleton, Nobody To Blame. The adorable Thomas Rhett is the winner, though, and he and his wife both look so happy about it. I’m happy too.

Home girl has taken the stage! (I should specify… this is Kelsea Ballerini.) She’s singing Peter Pan – a slow version with two people dancing in the background. She looks sincere and has such solid stage presence. PS, the people dancing are aerial dancing (is that even a term?) Read… one or both of them are regularly… not on the ground… I love the creativity and level of entertainment I felt from this performance.

Olivia Newton John is part of the group – who knew, she was 1979’s female vocalist of the year? Song of the Year will be announced. Tim McGraw wins with Humble and Kind. The song writer, Lori McKenna, gave the sweetest thank you speech about how this song was a prayer she wrote for her children, and how she writes songs for Tim McGraw because of Faith Hill. Faith is (adorably) crying at her seat. I LOVE MOMENTS LIKE THESE.

Jason Aldean is singing “Brand New Man” with Brooks & Dunn. Jason’s voice sounds great with Ronnie and Kix in this classic performance.

Dierks Bentley and Elle King are singing “It’s Different With Girls.” I love this song and they’re performing a classic, sweet version of this song.

GUYS MY OTHER FAVE IS PERFORMING! Maren Morris is singing My Church. Her hair is way curly, “fro-ed out” even. She’s got a little church choir behind her, and she’s wearing a trendy black dress. She seems real happy and comfortable rockin’ out to her first hit.

Let me take a minute to say, Carrie Underwood has been dressing to honor each decade. Everyone knows she’s like model-level beautiful so she looks amazing in each dress. #GOALS.

Jennifer Garner is giving the award for New Artist of the Year. Kelsea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, and Cole Swindell are all nominated. We have some great new artists! Side note, she is rocking her outfit. Maren wins! Hooray sista, I am PROUD O YOU. She’s way humbled and emotional. Last year she was watching the CMAs at a bar and here she is today. CRYING up a storm and thanking her favorites. She is a wreck and I absolutely love her perfectly flawed thank you. Maren, you have arrived my friend.

Brad Paisley straight up admitted that Carrie is doing one of her “legendary outfit changes” and I love that.

Garth and Tricia are singing a tribute medley. Watching the crowd react to each song introduced is really fun. Words to explain the way this audience is receiving the performance: giddy excitement, sentimental tears, true appreciation.

Oh snap, Carrie Underwood is looking SASSY singing Dirty Laundry. She literally is crushin it tonight.

Faith Hill is giving out the next award, for Album of the Year. Nominated: Black (Dierks Bentley), Hero (Maren Morris), Mr. Misunderstood (Eric Church), Ripcord (Keith Urban) anddddddd Storyteller (Carrie Underwood). Ok, I am WAY surprised. Eric Church is the winner! Mr. Misunderstood is a solid album though, so I’m happy with him. Eric mentioned that he presented his album last year at his performance at the CMAs and I totally remember that.

Little Big Town is singing their new song, Better Man. Fun fact, Taylor Swift wrote this song! Listen to the lyrics and you will believe it.

Miranda Lambert looks like she 100% knows what she’s doing. She’s singing Vice… acapella for the first several measures and completely on key. I actually love her very simple hairstyle.

Matthew McConaughey has taken the stage! (Alright alright alright!) He’s introducing Tim McGraw who is singing Humble And Kind.

Brad Paisley sang with the Oak Ridge Boys.. until commercial break… It was a nice moment of fame for them.

Cue the happy tears, Alan Jackson is singing Remember When. He looks completely authentic. Clips from CMA shows are being played overhead. Don’t mind me while I sob on my couch. George Straight has entered the stage and he’s singing Troubador, with Alan still on the stage too.

I have no clue who the couple is currently on the stage, announcing the next award. They did give the score to the World Series though (and I must admit I’m pulling for the Cubs, even though I’m a pretty serious Brewers fan). Vocal Duo of the Year goes to Brothers Osborne. I’m shocked because I was expecting Florida Georgia Line to win. Side note, turns out Brothers Osborne are brothers… 😉

Keith Urban is singing Blue Aint Your Color. The performance is very classic. I’ve noticed a theme of authentic, slow, serious songs tonight.

The award for the Vocal Group of the Year is up next.Awe, Little Big Town wins! I love them so I could back this any day.

The time is here. BEYONCE and the Dixie Chicks have taken the stage. They’re singing “Daddy Lessons.” Out loud, I meaningfully said in a confused tone, “I like this.” We have fiddles, a harmonica, your classic guitars and the Dixie Chicks harmonies. This dynamic girl-power collaboration is now singing “Long Time Gone.”  My roommates have really good opinions and they say this was the “best. collab. of the night.” They have some credibility and I have to say it was an unforgettable performance.

Kenny Chesney is receiving the third ever Pinnacle Award. I’m so happy for Kenny and proud of all he has done for country music. One of my favorite life moments thus far was watching Kenny perform live at Country Thunder several summers ago. KENNY, U DA MAN.

Thomas Rhett is singing “Die A Happy Man.” We have another heart-felt performance delivered by Thomas who already won an award tonight for this very song.

Chris Stapleton is performing “Seven Spanish Angels,” which I believe was by Ray Charles. I am remembering my complete confusion last year when he won so many awards. And here we are today with Chris as another household name in country music.

Luke Bryan has taken the stage, and he’s singing Move. I’m honestly thrilled to hear a party song as we have experienced a lot of the sweet-serious songs tonight. Luke Bryan will always come through for a good time.

Lee Greenwood is singing “I’m Proud To Be An American” with Brad and Carrie and absolutely everyone at the CMAs. I LOVE AMERICA, AND I LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC.

Florida Georgia Line is singing “May We All.” I’m looking for you, Tim McGraw. AND THERE HE IS! Tim has joined Tyler and Brian on the stage for the second half of the song, and I loved the solid performance.

Vince Gill is on the stage to present the Female Vocalist of the Year award. He also announced that the Cubs are up 6-3 and I’m gathering that a majority of the crowd is pulling for Chicago tonight. Carrie Underwood is tonight’s winner! I would like to personally congratulate Kacey, Maren, Kelsea and Miranda as they were also nominated for the award. All five of these women are doing amazing things for country music.

Eric Church is singing Kill A Word. Eric is an incredibly talented singer and I will always appreciate his work.

Dolly Parton is now being honored. She is definitely iconic. Jennifer Nettles and Pentatonix are performing Jolene. (CUE ALL THE EXCITED VIBES!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I. loved. their. performance. BOOM. REBA has entered the stage. She’s singing Dolly’s “9 to 5.” Now we have Kacey Musgraves singing “Here You Come.” Kacey is crushing this sweet performance and Dolly appears to be very pleased with the performance. Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride have joined the stage singing “I Will Always Love You.” (Carrie and Martina, would you pleaseeeee collab more often?!). Jennifer, Carrie, Martina, Kacey and Reba are all singing and I am shivering and have tears with all of the emotions. The performance was sweet, special, beautiful, and altogether lovely. The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is given to Dolly. “I would’ve cried but I didn’t want to mess up my eyelashes.” Gosh Dolly, some things just never change!

Sharon Stone has taken the stage to award the Male Vocalist of the Year. Nominees are Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Tim McGraw, Chris Stapleton, and Keith Urban. Our winner is Chris Stapleton.  Again, all five nominees are phenomenal, but since I never lie I will admit that Chris would not be in my top four preferences for this award. Nevertheless, Chris is WAY talented and he gave a very nice speech, so kudos to you my friend.

Now it’s Brad Paisley’s turn to perform. He’s wearing jeans and a cowboy hat, and he’s singing Today. Country history clips are being showed on screens behind Brad, which contributes to the sentimental touch of this year’s show.

Taylor Swift is back at the CMAs! She is presenting the award for Entertainer of the Year! Nominated: Garth, Keith Luke, Chris, Carrie. The 2016 Entertainer of the Year is awarded to Garth Brooks. Garth is our winner and he gave a very classy and heart-filled thank you acceptance speech.

Carrie, wearing a beautiful black dress, and Brad, wished our viewers a final good night.

The current score of the World Series is 6-6 so while the CMAs are over, American TV has more history to be made tonight! Goodnight all and thanks for reading the post!

Were you surprised by the performances and award winners? I’d love to hear in the comments.


Country Music Awards Show 2013


Luke Bryan singing “That’s My Kinda Night” to kick off the evening. He sounds great but his shirt is not #1 on my List Of Favorite Shirts. I liked the Luke Bryan who sang “We Rode In Trucks” but now he’s wearing a sequin shirt. Then Florida Georgia Line joins the stage for a solid beginning of the 2013 CMAs.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood take the stage. They’re singing a few lines together and they sound dang good even when they’re just playing casually. Brad made a joke about twerking. Carrie Underwood says twerking happens at Luke Bryan concerts (haaaaaa) and now C&B are singing about Obamacare. Taylor Swift doesn’t get it. Everybody else seems to be laughing and clapping. We’ve got some Miley Cyrus and Duck Dynasty References and now it’s time for an award.

The Robinson family of Duck Dynasty is giving the Single of the Year award; it goes to FGL, “Cruise.” I personally love Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” but I mean, who doesn’t love Florida Georgia Line… and everybody and their cat loves “Cruise” so cheers to them.

Jason Aldean is singing Night Train in a cowboy hat and jeans—I’m glad he stays true to himself, and this song is clutch.

Kacey Musgraves is singing one of my favorites (don’t judge me-) Follow Your Arrow. She’s doing a great job, and looking good in a yellow dress. Side note- she’s wearing her long brown hair in a side ponytail, and looks somewhat like Jennifer Lawrence AKA Katniss.

Carrie Underwood is looking pretty in pink. Her dress is covered in flowers, which is a nice balance of dainty and interesting.  

Hooray! Lady Antebellum is singing Compass, my current favorite song from them. I’m just gonna say it—Charles is looking good. Yellow pants, a white tshirt and a jean jacket is his outfit of choice and he is rocking it. I loved their performance; my roommate agrees. Fabulous.

Jake Owen and Lucy (from Pretty Little Liars, who is apparently releasing an album soon) announce Song of the Year. The award goes to Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck,” so the writers come up with Lee to receive the award. I was actually surprised about this one, but the writer explained how the song is based on a real story—and that’s pretty neat.

I am mesmerized—Little Big Town is singing (they’re consistently among my favorites). Brad announces, “Little Big Town are going to be the only ones to sing Sober on this stage tonight.” Clever joke, as that’s the song they’re singing and we’re at a country event. They started out acapella and Karen is wearing sparkle pants. This, my friends, is how I define perfection.

Vocal Duo of the Year announced. Florida Georgia Line wins! They are going to clean up tonight. Even though they deserve this award, they honestly had very little competition (Big & Rich are soooo five years ago, and Sugarland isn’t even a band anymore).

Carrie and Brad are looking ridiculous and it’s hilarious. Brad “looks like a referee who’s going to prom.”

Now I’m going to melt, scream or both as Keith Urban sings “We Were Us” with Miranda Lambert. Miranda’s looking really good, by the way, in a black outfit and silver boots.

Taylor Swift, accompanied by a small orchestra, is singing “Red.” The group is sitting in a semi-circle, everyone’s wearing black, and they’re taking a new twist on the song—it’s slow and filled with echoes. I would describe this performance as humble, which is ironically impressive, in my opinion. I kept waiting for Taylor to jump out of her seat and reveal some sort of red dress (that never happened). Besides her below-average hairdo I’m a fan of the performance.

FGL takes the stage to perform “Round Here” and they are sounding good live. I love their lit up background that shines FGL. I have to laugh because one of the guys is wearing a bro tank of sorts and another one has on a scarf. Maybe you can pull off either look in November?

Hunter Hayes joins Jason Mraz on the stage singing together—Hunter looks even younger than I remembered (acca-awkward) but nevertheless a solid performance.

Kacey Musgraves wins New Artist of the Year! I’m satisfied that she won, and I can’t wait to see where Kacey’s career takes her.

I don’t recognize Eric Church without a baseball hat, but they tell me he is singing on the stage. I looooooove Eric Church but this is not my favorite performance of his.

Insert geek out here- The Band Perry is singing “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” and they are sounding good. Kimberly (as always) is looking fantastic, and her bros are rocking out as well. But one of the brothers needs a haircut-badly. I couldn’t tell you which one because his hair is covering his entire face. But, you know, minor details.

Sheryl Crow is announcing the next award, Album of the Year. I love all the nominees-Based On A True Story (Blake Shelton), Blown Away (Carrie Underwood), Red (Taylor Swift), Same Trailer Different Park (Kacey Musgraves), and Tornado (Little Big Town). Blake wins! I’m surprised, but there are some solid songs on that album, so it’s good. Blake said this award means the most to him which is cool.

Mr. Tim McGraw is performing, and rightly so (CMAs without Tim just wouldn’t be right-speaking of ‘not right’- high-waisted pants, Tim? Really?) Anyway Tim is singing Southern Girl, which I really do like.

Blake Shelton is singing, “Mine Would Be You” which honestly isn’t my favorite of all his songs, but hey—it’s Blake and he’s giving a solid performance.

Lennon and Maisy, the two daughters from Nashville, sing part of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.” They crush it. Taylor Swift hugs them. A group including Tim McGraw gives a Pinnacle award to Taylor for her positive influence on country music and my appreciation for Miss Swift just increased. Taylor respond with her usual “I’ve never won an award before” excitement.

Carrie Underwood is singing “Good Girl” which becomes “Blown Away” which becomes “Two Black Cadillacs”—basically she’s singing a mash-up, which is the best…a riff off, of sorts (Shout-out to all the Pitch Perfect fans out there).

Vocal Group of the Year goes to Little Big Town! I will always take it personally when LBT wins anything. They have new outfits on, they’re looking fabulous and they have so many people to thank. Sweet!

Brad Paisley introduces Alan Jackson and George Strait who are singing a tribute to George Jones. I’ll be honest and admit that this is not my favorite portion of the show, but I can appreciate a tribute here and there.

Zac Brown Band performed with…someone…and gave an energetic performance, as to be expected. Not my favorite but well done nonetheless.

Now it’s Brad’s turn to take the stage. Jennifer Nettles (you know the name from the former band Sugarland) is introducing an honorary tribute to Kenny Rodgers. The honorary crew includes Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, and Jennifer herself. Is it the wine, or is this performance putting me to sleep?

Rayna and Deacon from Nashville take the stage! The award is female vocalist of the year; the real competition here is between Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood. Miranda wins! She’s looking really good too. I think she just sassed Kelly Clarkson on stage as she says “really?” But really—why was Kelly nominated for female country vocalist for the year.

Luke Bryan is back on stage, this time singing in memory of his brother and sister. After some quick research I discovered that Luke’s sister passed away in 2007; their brother passed away in 1996. No wonder Luke decided to sing country music.

The Male Vocalist of the Year award is presented by Kelly Clarkson. Jason, Luke, Eric, Blake, and Keith are all nominated—Blake Shelton wins! I love how Blake and Miranda both won. Miranda has tears in her eyes; Blake seems shocked. The dynamic duo each won their respective awards last year as well.

Entertainer of the Year goes to George Strait. Cue the jaw drop, folks. I am shocked, though I think he just wiped a tear from his eye so there’s that. everyone seems genuinely happy for him, which is cool.

WHY ISN’T KEITH URBAN WITH HIS WIFE NICOLE. Sorry for the rant but I don’t know the woman next to him

George accepts his award. I don’t doubt that “this blows me away” as George said it himself. As he gives his thanks, he somehow thought it would be a good idea to name every single person he’s related to. Give up the speech bud.

Darius Rucker is singing “Wagon Wheel.” Isn’t this the same way they finished the CMAs last year?

I’m satisfied with another great Country Music Awards Show. Skipping class to watch it live was a good decision, so cheers to that!