CMA’s 50, Reviewed

Life

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.)

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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.

ACMs 2013

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Wow, here’s  a beginning. I’m seeing Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and [I know I missed] a bunch of others all starting out with a solid song.

Hosts introduced: Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. They’re looking good in black button-downs and jeans. A joke about Luke’s skinny jeans. Luke makes a joke about Nashville. I’m already lovin this.

“The folks from Duck Dynasty” are also here for the show. A joke about Zac Brown. Clever.

Kenny Chesney is up! Looking classic as always in a red cutoff, jeans, and the famous cowboy hat. He’s singing Pirate Flag, and fans all around are waving mini pirate flags. Solid way to set the mood.

Brad Paisley, Dierks Bently, and Hunter Hayes. At the same time. Outstanding In Our Field is the song. I missed a wow factor, but still-good.

Cool stage setup for this next performance. George Strait is singing Give It All We Got Tonight. He’s great live and genuinely looks like he’s having a good time. I’m not George Strait’s #1 fan but he did a nice job. I’m feeling like a straight up critic here… just waiting be be wowed I guess.

Okay, now I’m happy: Eric Church is up. He looks different! No hat, no sunglasses. Is this a first? He’s singing She Loves Me Like Jesus Does. Don’t get me wrong, this sounds good. But something about the videography is kind of weird- it appears that Eric is in black and white, but then there’s a girl singing backup with a red dress in the background. Hm.

FLORIDA. GEORGIA. LINE. Energy has entered the stage with Cruise. I can see some nerves through this performance, but they’re still rockin.

Lady Antebellum has some cool lights set up for their performance of Downtown. Let’s take a moment to appreciate Hillary and the fact that she’s going to have a baby in two-ish months yet she just rocked a stellar performance. Kudos!

Vocal Duo of the Year nominees: Big&Rich (That’s why I pray) FGL (Cruise), Love & Theft, Sugarland (Stuck Like Glue), Thompson Square (If I Didn’t Have You). Thompson Square wins! I approve (though I hope FGL wins something). The couple is looking really classy and extremely excited.

Here’s Brantley Gilbert looking very authentic in a black t-shirt and baseball hat. He’s singing More Than Miles– a good performance.

I shouldn’t even be surprised right now: a black Cadillac drives onto the stage, and Carrie Underwood steps out singing her current single. Perfection is here- Carrie sounds good and looks phenomenal…now add two real cars, smoke, and an awesome backdrop and you’ve got Carrie’s performance. Woah.

Album of the Year nominations: Blown Away (Carrie Underwood-and yes that album has blown me away); Chief (Eric Church- solid choice); Red (Taylor Swift- duh); Tailgates & Tanlines (Luke Bryan-there are some solid singles on there); Tornado (Little Big Town-I LOVE THEM). Eric Church wins with Chief! Not my #1 choice, but not my last choice either. Way to go, Eric. Eric is halfway back to his normal look-he put on his aviators but no baseball hat. Eric Church is a one-of-a-kind and I am happy for him that he won.

Blake Shelton has taken center stage to perform Sure Be Cool If You Did. YAY. I like that he’s in the midst of the audience. I don’t like his shirt. You win some and you lose some.

Please welcome The Band Perry. I wish I was Kimberly. I love what this band offers- energy, youth, edge, beauty, style, class… I’m so into this performance of of Done.

Jana Kramer is singing Whiskey. My roommate is psyched about it…I don’t think I know this song. Jana’s wearing a pretty dress and sounding good.

We’re giving it up for Scotty McCreery and he’s looking adorable in his plaid tie and suit. I was expecting to hear him sing, but instead he introduced the New Artist of the Year nominees: Brantley Gilbert, Florida-Georgia Line, and Jana Kramer. I’m not surprised-FGL wins! And well deserved.

Who wouldn’t be excited right now to hear Jason Aldean sing 1994. We could all do without the background dancers… but it’s whatever.

Group of the Year nominees (and me realizing I LOVE COUNTRY GROUPS): The Band Perry, Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band. I’d be thrilled with any of these BUT AM COMPLETELY PUMPED THAT LITTLE BIG TOWN WON I LOVE THEM THEY’VE BEEN MY FAVE SINCE I SAW THEM AT MY COUNTY FAIR IN HIGH SCHOOL Ummm I’m so glad LBT won! And I’m still envious of Kimberly’s fantastic curly hair.

Miranda Lambert Mama’s Broken Heart Yes Please And Thank You. (Side note if you haven’t seen the music video, check it out because it’s fantastic). I’m loving the stage and Miranda’s ever-present sass. She tells it how it is.

Song of the Year nominations: A Woman Like You (Lee Brice); Even If It Breaks Your Heart (Eli Young Band) (I’m okay with this as long as we’re not referring to the music vid); Over You (Miranda Lambert)!!!; Springsteen (Eric Church); Wanted (Hunter Hayes). Our winner is Over You and well deserved. Blake and Miranda walked up together… love it.

Little Big Town is definitely among my favorite ever bands. I have to put that out there. However. I’m not sure what to even think about this vertically hanging bed during the performance of Your Side of the Bed. I’m actually not sold on the song itself, but this is definitely creative and a whole lot of weird. Beautiful, solid harmonies for sure. Hm.

Single Record of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert for Over You. Two awards for a well-deserved, very special song. Here come the tears. Genuine appreciation though. Nice.

The beautiful and classy Faith Hill joins the stage to announce Highway Don’t Care by Tim McGraw (“my ride home”-ha), Keith Urban, and Taylor Swift. I feel like Tim > Taylor; maybe it’s a sound thing? I’m a big fan of this song, though… so it’s all good.

John Mayer with Brad Paisley? Okay. I really am a critic. Not loving this.

Luke Bryan’s performance, happening now! He’s singing his newest, Crash My Party. I recently got the album but I’m not familiar with this song yet. I think Luke would melt my heart if he sung the proverbial phone book. Yeah I went there.

I don’t like this Kelly Clarkson song. But I will say she is looking really good and I’m relieved to see that she is out of her strange phase (for lack of a better explanation).

Shucks. I had to leave for a meeting and to take a quiz. What a bust! I hear that Luke Bryan won Entertainer of the Year, though, which is pretty great.

Altogether I enjoyed the show and I hope that this recap was at least somewhat entertaining!