They saved the best awards show for last and the CMA's lived up to their reputation. Brooks & Dunn hosted once again. While a few jokes went flat, the guys looked like they were having fun.
Country musics premiere party started out with Brooks & Dunn singing Building Bridges with a little help from Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow. Then the guys jumped into hosting mode and explained that there were a couple of firsts for this year, they had moved from CBS to ABC and that they had allowed country music fans to purchase tickets to attend the awards show.
The first award of the night, Single of the Year, was presented by LeAnn Rimes, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and it went to Brooks & Dunn for Believe. Then Carrie Underwood performed her newest release Before He Cheats followed by Brad Paisley performing She's Everything.
This being the 40th anniversary of the CMA's, there were flashbacks shown through out the show starting with Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in 1977 performing Jackson and Johnny planting a big kiss on June in the middle of the song. Sugarland came out and performed I Ain't Settlin' followed by Gretchen Wilson performing The Bed with John Rich.
Song of the Year was the next award presented, by Lee Ann Womack and Cameron Matheson (All My Children), it was won by Brooks & Dunn for Believe. They then announced the winner of Music Video of the Year, which was presented off air, went to Brooks & Dunn for Believe. The performances continued with Alan Jackson singing Red on a Rose followed by Little Big Town performed Bones.
We flashedback to 1983 to see Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton singing Islands in the Stream before heading more performances. This time Rascal Flatts singing My Wish. Gary Allan and Kimberly Williams-Paisley (she couldn't read the promter and joked she married one of the great singers who got her knocked up and blind) presented the award Best Vocal Group to Rascal Flatts. It was announced that Randy Scruggs won Musician of the Year off air at a earlier presentation.
Martina McBride wowed the crowd with her newest release Anyway before Kris Kristofferson came out to introduce George Strait. George performed Give It Away before accepting his Hall of Fame plaque. Kenny Chesney performed You Save Me followed by The Wreckers singing Leave the Pieces. Duo of the Year was presented by Trisha Yearwood and James Denton (of Desperate Housewives) to Brooks & Dunn. Before heading to commercial the Radio Personalities of the Year were announced.
Dierks Bentley came out and performed Every Mile a Memory. Eva Longoria (of Desperate Housewives) presented the Male Vocalist of the Year award which went to Keith Urban, who wasn't present. Ronnie Dunn accepted the award for Keith and read a letter from the artist. Miranda Lambert performed Crazy Ex Girlfriend.
Musical Event of the Year went to Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton for When I Get Where Iím Going, it was another award presented off air. Then there was another flashback to 1983 with Julio Inglesias and Willie Nelson performing To All the Girls I've Loved Before.
Faith Hill did a great job when she came out and performed Stealing Kisses followed by Josh Turner singing Would You Go With Me. Billy Currington and Kellie Pickler came out to present the Horizon Award which went to Carrie Underwood. Then the Radio Personalities of the Year were announced, but presented off air.
Kris Kristofferson came back out to present both Harold Bradley and Sonny James with their plaques for being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. After they spoke, Jason Aldean performed Hicktown, followed by Sara Evans singing A Real Fine Place. Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter, Mylie came out to present Female Vocalist of the Year to Carrie Underwood.
We flashed back to 1973 to see Merle Haggard singing Okie From Muskogee. Montgomery Gentry came out to present Album of the Year which went to Brad Paisley for "Time Well Wasted". This was followed by Vince Gill performing with Amy Grant, Sheryl Crow and Jenny Gill on his newest release, What You Give Away. We flashed back again to 1985 when the stars filled the stage in a tribute to Willie Nelson, they were singing On the Road Again.
The evening ended with the only woman to ever win the Entertainer of the Year twice, Barbara Mandrell, presenting the same honor to Kenny Chesney.
In review, the winners were:
Entertainer of the Year - Kenny Chesney
Female Vocalist of the Year - Carrie Underwood
Male Vocalist of the Year - Keith Urban
Horizon Award - Carrie Underwood
Vocal Group of the Year - Rascal Flatts
Vocal Duo of the Year - Brooks & Dunn
Single of the Year - Believe - Brooks & Dunn
Album of the Year - Time Well Wasted - Brad Paisley
Music Video of the Year - 8th of November - Big & Rich
Musical Event of the Year - Brad Paisley w/Dolly Parton - When I Get Where Iím Going
Song of the Year - Believe
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