The 48th Annual CMA Awards is dubbed as “country music’s biggest night” and this year’s show lived up to the hype, with cross-genre collaborations, first-time winners, a heartfelt acceptance speech from a country legend, and, of course, hilarious co-hosts. In no particular order, here our Top 10 Moments from this year’s CMA Awards:
1. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, Hosts Extraordinaire
In their seventh year of co-hosting the CMA Awards, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood once again brought the funny. They opened by acknowledging George Strait’s retirement and the fact that he was in attendance and scheduled to perform, with Paisley saying “I’m pretty sure when someone rides away, they go somewhere.” Underwood piped up, asking “Do you need one of us to give you a ride?” Paisley and Underwood also covered current events, including Underwood’s pregnancy – Paisley revealed it’s a boy! – Ebola, and, of course, Taylor Swift’s departure form country, also known as “Postpartum Taylor Swift Disorder.” The pair said country music would simply need to “Shake It Off.”
2. Luke Bryan Wins Entertainer of the Year
Garth Brooks made his triumphant return to the CMA Awards stage to present Entertainer of the Year to Luke Bryan. His first win in the category, Bryan was emotional as he accepted the award. “First of all, I’ve never met Garth,” he said. “Can I hug you again?” After giving Brooks one more hug, he returned to the mic. “I hope I can have enough time to say everything on my mind,” he said. “I have some angels in Heaven. My brother and sister are up there making this night happen for me.” After thanking his family, friends, and the team that supports him, he added, “We’re gonna have a good time tonight.”
3. Miranda Lambert and Meghan Trainor’s Delightful Duet
Miranda Lambert teamed up with pop star Meghan Trainor to open the show. The pair performed a memorable, countrified rendition of Trainor’s smash hit “All About That Bass.” Later, Paisley told Trainor she had a place in country music – she just had to wear a pair of cutoffs and change the words to “All About That Bass” to “All About That Bass” – as in a bass fish.