Good Morning America also announced the winners for "CMA Music Event" going to Keith & Miranda for their hit "We Were us" and Video of the Year went to Dierks Bentley for "Drunk on a Plane"
On to the big night! Kenny Chesney opened the show with the excellent "American Kids" followed by Miranda Lambert teaming up with Meghan Trainor for her catchy hit "All About That Bass".
Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood hosted for their 7th year and started with their cute monologue. This year Carrie is pregnant so Brad was teasing her a bit talking about post-partum depression and how now all of country music will have PPTSD - Post Partum Taylor Swift Depression. Taking into the song "Who's gonna fill her shoes"!
The big winners of the night in order of presentation:
Single: "Automatic" by Miranda Lambert
Song: "Follow Your Arrow" Kacey Musgraves
New Artist: Brett Eldridge
Duo: Florida Georgia Line
Album: " Platinum" by Minanda Lambert
Group: Little Big Town'
Male vocalist: Blake Shelton
Female vocalist:Miranda Lambert
Entertainer: Luke Bryan
The Irving Waugh Award of Excellence was given to Vince Gill. Vince has won 18 CMA's and has hosted the show for 12 years. He is a Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry Member and a winner of 20 Grammy Awards as well.
"Irving Waugh is 94 years old and is responsible for putting the CMA Awrds on television," Vince Gill said, "and always a consumate gentleman."
The CMA award winners always prove themselves to be the most humble of their winnings, more than in any of the other music genres.Miranda Lambert "truly appreciating that God allows ther to do this for her life" and Blake Shelton "dedicating his award for male vocalist to Earl Thomas Conley who had never won" Garth Brooks Presented to Luke Bryan the Entertainer Award. Luke had never met Garth before and was amazed that he was receiving it from him! "Later he said "That was crazy to me! I remember when I was opening shows for Kenny Chesney and seeing all the fans," he said. "When we launched into stadiums and arenas, I thought this was a new sensation to me. Live shows are where fans are escaping their lives and getting absorbed into the moment of al ive show to enjoy themselves. And that is wonderful."
Outside the Bridgestone Arena was packed as well, with people who could not get into see the show, and the majority of the crowd also predicted Luke Bryan as the winner of the Entertainer award. They were all asked to sing pieces of Luke's songs by newsmen and were having a great time just as if they were inside.
All the performances were wonderful. Some of the top favorites were Lady Antebellum, singing "Hey Bartender." They gave light-up wristbands for the audience to wear flashing red, green, and blue lights. Little Big Town sang "Day Drinkin'" in neon apparel with neon-clad drummers behind them, and were joined by Ariana Grande, also in neon, for a rendition of her hit, "Bang Bang". Truly spectacular.
Blake Shelton was joined for his duo by Ashley Monroe, "We Don't Have to be Lonely Tonight." Carrie Underwood performed her phenomenal hit, "Something in the Water."
Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers was joine dby Jennifer Nettles, Hunter Hayes, and Hillary Scott for "Listen to the Music" and also closed the night with "Takin' It To the Streets" and kept on playing until the crowd was gone. It was a spectacular night!!!
H. Dwyer for Country Music News International Magazine