Luke Bryan, “Girl Crush”, Chris Stapleton Big Winners at the 49th Annual CMA Awards

Luke Bryan, “Girl Crush”, Chris Stapleton Big Winners
at the 49th Annual CMA Awards
After a “cancelled” Star Wars intro – complete with a story
of Princess Carrie – Hank Williams Jr. and Eric Church opened the gala night
with the Waylon Jennings hit “Are You Ready For The Country”, which set the
tone, energy and the bar high for the rest of the well produced evening held at
the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on November 4.
Collaborations were more standard than not during
this spectacular awards show, but there was absolutely nothing standard
about them.  Keith Urban was the second act to perform and
he started that appropriately with Rock Legend 
John Mellencamp referencing Urban’s second song “John Cougar, John
Deere, John 3:16”.  Urban had his upcoming
album title “Ripcord” painted on the bass he was laying down groovy
riffs on,
showcasing his excellence as a musician and at the same time not missing
a note
singing.  The hostess Carrie Underwood
with the mostest and prettiest dresses and the host Brad Paisley with
coolest, most well played innocence came back with entertaining jokes
and eventually
a pair of dropped pants.  The Single of
the Year was then awarded to Country Music Hall of Fame members Little
Big Town
and their “Girl Crush”. It is a song that first was misunderstood, but
completely redeemed and what can better confirm that than receiving a
CMA Single of the Year Award plus a CMA Song of the Year Award.  Zac
Brown Band came on stage with their
unmistakable sound and style and then followed natural beacher Kenny
Chesney.  Other super- and megastars singing
this evening were Sam Hunt, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, Florida
Line, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett with Fall Out Boy, Kelsea Ballerini,
Paisley, Blake Shelton, Maddie & Tae, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert,
Aldean, Dierks Bentley and  stylish Reba
with solid honky tonk duo Brooks & Dunn. 
A much talked about collaboration prior to the ABC network broadcasted
was Justin Timberlake honoring Chris Stapleton with his support singing
songs.  One was “Tennessee Whiskey”, a
song previously recorded and made a hit by David Allan Coe and George
but Stapleton has made it his very own.  When
Miranda Lambert held her thank-you speech for receiving her Female
Vocalist of
the Year Award, she was wearing a grey t-shirt with a glittery Chris
decoration on it.  Chris won three big
awards: New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of
Year.  The highest ranked award,
Entertainer of the Year, was awarded to the reigning award holder, Luke
CMNI’s own list of miscellaneous outstanding moments at this
year’s CMA:
Best Mic Stand of the Night – Jason Aldean’s
Best Sounding Guitar of the Night – Miranda Lambert’s
Best Scene Decor of the Night – Kenny Chesney’s
Best Smile of the Night – Sam Hunt’s
Best Joke of the Night – William Shatner in a Stormtrooper
Best Sport  Blake Shelton
Best Dancers of the Night – Thomas Rhett’s and Fall Out
Best Presenters of the Night – Pentatonix
Best Heartfelt Performance of the Night – Eric Church
Best Show Performance of the Night – Reba with Brooks &
For a complete list of official nominees and winners at the
2015 CMA Awards, visit
Shelley Ridge for Country Music News International Magazine

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