Country music’s biggest night took viewers to a galaxy far, far away and brought us some jaw-dropping musical collaborations along with some memorable red carpet looks and speeches. Here is a roundup of the evening’s biggest moments and winners.
Red Carpet Bling and Bumps
Starting the evening on the red carpet, swimsuit model Hannah Davis debuted her engagement ring from Derek Jeter. The former Yankee player confirmed the couple’s engagement earlier this week in a blog post on The Player's Tribune about his dog Kane writing, "He was a Christmas gift last year from my fiancée, whose family had Mastiffs growing up.” Hannah’s massive rock complimented her blush-colored J. Mendel gown.
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Apart from the plunging necklines and sequined gowns, one noticeable trend on the evening’s red carpet was baby bumps. Singers Jana Kramer, Holly Williams, along with Thompson Squared's Shawna Thompson had their baby bumps dressed to the nines. Country singer Charles Kelley's wife Cassie and David Nail’s wife Catherine also flaunted their best accessories on the CMA carpet.
Opening Sketch And Monologue
Hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Fisher - we mean Underwood- opened the 49th annual CMA Awards show with a nod to Star Wars. The hosts spoofed the sic-fi franchise dressed as Guitar Solo (Brad) and Carrie Fisher. Following the comic sketch, the two poked fun at fellow country star Blake Shelton, who split from singer Miranda Lambert earlier this year. Noting how many couples have split in Hollywood, Carrie said, "Of course, we can't ignore the breakup that really rocked our world, the one that's on everybody's mind, two people in this very room who we all know and love, splitsville." The cameras then turned to Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, who like Blake split earlier this year. Carrie continued, "Well, Kermit, Miss Piggy, we want you to know that we love you both and we just want you to be happy." Brad then followed it up quipping, "On a completely unrelated topic, Howdy Blake."
Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton's Duet
It was probably one of the most anticipated moments of the evening. Justin Timberlake and rising country star Chris Stapleton brought the house down with their soulful performance of George Jones' "Tennessee Whiskey" and Justin's "Drink You Away." The duo's soulful duet had the "Suit & Tie" singer's wife Jessica Biel dancing in the audience as her husband got in touch with his southern roots on stage. The couple then celebrated the night at Justin's Sauza 901 tequila party at Citizen.
Miranda Lambert Notes Her Tough Year in Speech
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Recently single Miranda Lambert took home Female Vocalist of the Year. The "Somethin' Bad" singer took home the award on the same day it was announced her ex-husband Blake Shelton is dating his fellow Voice judge Gwen Stefani. In her speech, Miranda said, "Man, I appreciate it. I needed a bright spot this year, so thank you."
Evening's Big Winners
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Rising country singer Chris Stapleton took home three awards Wednesday evening. Collecting trophies for Male Vocalist of the Year, New Artist and Album of the Year. The three time winner said, "This is an unbelievable thing, and I'm not going to take it lightly."
Also winning big at the country awards were Little Big Town. The group took home two trophies for Single of the Year ("Girl Crush") and Vocal Group of the Year. The band's song "Girl Crush" took home an additional two awards for Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year.
Reba McEntire's Performance
Country legend Reba McEntire took the CMA stage to perform her hit "Why Haven’t I.” The songstress then teamed up for a fiery duet with Brooks & Dunn to perform their song “Play Something Country.”
And while this did not happen on stage at the CMA Awards (though we wish it did) co-host Carrie's bull riding moment deserves some sort of honorable mention. Yee haw!