Eric Church kicked turn off the 51st yearly Country Music association Awards display in Nashville on Wednesday by to sing "Amazing Grace," a solemn reminder of last month"s deadly shoot in las Vegas at a nation music festival, setup a tone for an evening that strived come be optimistic amidst tragedy.
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Soon afterward, Hootie and also the Blowfish took the phase to song their standard "Hold mine Hand." The tape was joined by Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Reba McEntire, Little big Town, cutting board Rhett and much more of country"s biggest stars.
Then, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who hosted the show for the 10th year in a row, take it the phase to deliver a somber message about recent national tragedies.
"Las Vegas, Charlottesville, brand-new York, Sutherland Springs, historical storms in Texas, Puerto Rico and also Florida -- the list goes on and also on," said Underwood. "This has been a year marked by tragedy impacting countless lives, consisting of so numerous in our country music household so we"re walking to carry out with families do: cry together and also sing together."CMA Awards red carpet 2017 41 photos
In the most dangerous mass shooting in modern-day American history, 58 world were killed and more than 450 were injured on Oct. 1 in ~ the route 91 nation Music Festival in ras Vegas as soon as Stephen Paddock opened fire native the 32nd floor that the Mandalay Bay. Country music star Jason Aldean to be performing.
"The method we view it, the best method to respect our fans is to play our music, loud and also proud," claimed Paisley. "This year"s display is dedicated to all those we lost and all those tho healing. Us love you and also we will never ever forget you."
Paisley and Underwood conveniently addressed the debate over the CMA"s rescinded media restrictions. The CMA apologized previously this week for initially not permitting journalists come ask questions around politics or the ras Vegas shooting.
Underwood said, "CMA has provided us some guidelines with details topics to avoid, so we can"t be doing any kind of silly tiny songs because this year"s show is a politics-free zone."
Paisley asked if he might sing songs like "Way down Yonder ~ above the Scaramucci" and also "Stand by her Manafort."
"Definitely not," stated Underwood. Yet soon the two launched right into a variation of Underwood"s "Before that Cheats."
"Until Rocket guy starts a atom war and maybe next time, he"ll think prior to he tweets," castle sang.
Paisley and also Underwood congratulated Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris because that their recent engagements, and Little large Town"s Kimberly Schlapman and Thomas Rhett for the brand-new additions to your families. They also congratulated Hillary Scott and Chris Stapleton, who room each expecting twins.
Paisley and also Underwood then placed on eclipse glasses and also wondered aloud why Eric Church always wears sunglasses, and sang a couple of lines of "Total Eclipse that the Garth."
Tim McGraw and also Faith Hill walked ~ above the stage to present Underwood and also Paisley with dolls the them, and also pretended to it is in the hosts together they played through the dolls.
McGraw said, "I"m Brad Paisley and I"m not half as funny together I think i am." McGraw and Hill assured the co-hosts lock were simply kidding around and also congratulated them on 10 year of hosting the CMAs.
Brittany Snow and Ruby climbed of "Pitch Perfect 3" gift the very first award of the night, single of the year, which visited "Blue Ain"t her Color" by Keith Urban. City thanked his wife, Nicole Kidman, and promised come FaceTime she after the show.
Thomas Rhett performed "Unforgettable" against a blue light-up backdrop.
Karlie Kloss, Bobby Bones, Luke Combs and Brett Young presented track of the year, which saw "Better Man," composed by Taylor Swift and performed by Little large Town.
Little huge Town took the stage and also member Karen Fairchild sharp out, "We didn"t create this track … We want to give thanks to Taylor Swift."
Dierks Bentley began a moving tribute to trojan Gentry, singing Montgomery Gentry"s "My Town," and also was soon joined through Rascal Flatts, together the audience erupted into cheers. Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry took the phase to close out the song, leaving several world in the audience in tears. Gentry died a plane crash in September.
Paisley joked about the lifted CMA media restrictions and also claimed the present nixed "Huey Lewis and the Fake News."
Kelsea Ballerini and also Reba McEntire joined pressures to sing Ballerini"s solitary "Legends" with each other on a stage built to look favor a Hollywood movie set.
Luke Bryan carry out "Light the Up," appropriately in front of a wall made that light-up tiles.
Afterward, Miranda Lambert sang she honky-tonk-style solitary "To learn Her" against a retro-looking backdrop through a huge chandelier.
Jason Ritter and JoAnna Garcia Swisher presented brand-new artist the the year. Swisher stated that Jason"s grandfather, Tex Ritter, was a establishing member the the nation Music Association. Jon Pardi won the award and thanked his friends and family ago home "who watched me pat at back yards, dive bars and fairs."
Paisley and also Underwood presented who they dubbed "the brightest star that all": Garth Brooks, who sang "Ask Me how I Know" top top a bright collection that had a large "G" sign hanging over the stage.
Paisley and also Underwood took concerns from fans and one asked how they gain in form to hold the CMAs. Underwood and Paisley declared they execute yoga with goats -- and also that they supplied Little large Town"s dressing rooms. Underwood warned the those little brown things room "not chocolate-covered raisins" together Little big Town members laugh in the audience.
Brothers Osborne sang "It Ain"t mine Fault," climate they paid tribute come Don Williams, who died in September, through a rousing rendition that "Livin" on Tulsa Time."
Tyler Perry took the stage and also talked about black country singer Charley Pride"s legacy and how people have an ext in typical than lock think, regardless of race.
He presented chris Stapleton with album that the year because that "From a Room, Volume One." Stapleton thanked his wife, his children, the children he"s expecting and also his fans.
Husband and wife Tim McGraw and Faith Hill took the stage to sing their romantic solitary "The remainder of our Life" together in former of a tree, locking eyes and also smiling at each other.
Later, Pink took the stage to sing "Barbies." She satellite on a stool in a small circle covered in lights through string musicians, a guitarist and also backup singers.
Old dominion sang "No Such point as a damaged Heart." Matthew Ramsey take it a break from to sing to current radio broadcast personalities of the year, and thanked fans because that listening to Old rule on the radio.
Little large Town join songwriter Jimmy Webb on stage to salary a moving tribute to Glen Campbell, performing "Wichita Lineman."
Jennifer Nettles and Kristian shrub of Sugarland take it the phase to current vocal duo that the year, an award the two have won several times in the past. The award saw Brothers Osborne -- their 2nd win in the category.
Paisley announced the Mac McAnally winner musician of the year prior to introducing Chris and Morgane Stapleton come the stage. The couple sang "Broken Halos."
Maren Morris and Niall Horan performed with each other for the an initial time at the CMAs to song their track "Seeing Blind."
Underwood returned to the stage in a dramatic, flow white gown to song "Softly and Tenderly" against a background of picture of significant members the the nation music neighborhood who died the past year, including Gregg Allman, glenn Campbell, Don Williams, trojan Gentry and also more. The power closed off with a tribute come those who passed away during the ras Vegas shooting victims, v photos of the victims appearing behind Underwood as she sang.
Brett Eldredge, Dustin Lynch and also Lea Michele presented vocal group of the year, which checked out Little large Town. Kimberly Schlapman said, "Let"s spread the love. That is why us were placed on this earth."
Brad Paisley echoed those sentiments through his t-shirt that said "Unity" as he sang "Heaven South." Kane Brown joined him after that stage to song the remainder of the song.
Jon Pardi sang "Dirt on my Boots" and paused his track to thank radio fans because that making his track No. 1 and also presented the winners that radio terminal of the year.
Dan + Shay and Lauren Alaina continued the template of unity and also sang "Get Together" by The Youngbloods.
Keith city took the stage to sing "Female," a song influenced by the allegations versus Harvey Weinstein. Lyrics included lines like, "When somebody laughs and also implies the she asked because that it, just reason she to be wearing a skirt. Five is that just how that works?" The audience gave Urban a standing ovation because that the performance.
Actress Michelle Monaghan and NASCAR"s Jimmie Johnson take it the phase to present female vocalist of the year. Miranda Lambert winner the award for the seventh time.
"I feeling truly choose there"s a family here tonight," Lambert said. Lambert talked around the shortcut she felt through the nation music community as she embraced the award.
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Eric Church went back to the stage to sing "Chattanooga Lucy."
Trisha Yearwood presented masculine vocalist that the year, which went to Chris Stapleton. It to be his 2nd award of the night and also his 3rd win for male vocalist that the year. Stapleton thanked Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley and also the remainder of the nominees for helping him once "nobody had also heard the me."
Underwood and also Paisley introduced Alan Jackson as among their favorites. Jackson perform "Chasin" that Neon Rainbow"
Reba McEntire presented entertainer that the year come Garth Brooks. He referred to as McEntire "the entertainment artist of a lifetime."
Brooks thanked his fans and also said, "The most important thing other than God himself space you, the world who permit us come play the best music ever, nation music." He offered a shoutout to his wife and said, "Miss Yearwood, i am your forever."
Jackson returned to play "Don"t rock the Jukebox," join by Underwood and also Paisley.