CMA Awards Night Highlights from Wide Open Country

George Strait and Alan Jackson Share the Stage at CMA Awards

George Strait and Alan Jackson shared the stage during the 2016 CMA Awards for a joint performance of two of their biggest hits.

George Strait and Alan Jackson shared the stage during the 2016 CMA Awards for a joint performance of two of their biggest hits.

Alan Jackson opened with “Remember When.” During his performance, a video mashup of past CMA winners George Jones, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash giving their memorable acceptance speeches played on the big screen.

Then, Strait entered center stage for his hit modern hit “Troubadour.” Strait and Jackson shared the chorus of the song as images of past country legends flashed in gold on the big screens behind them.

Strait and Jackson were among a bevy of classic country artists who performed during the show. Charley Pride, Roy Clark, Dwight Yoakam, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, and many more, took the stage for performances. It’s safe to say nostalgia was the running theme of the show.

READ MORE: George Strait Serenades the Bushes During Their 70th Birthday Party

Strait will release his box set, Strait Out of the Box, Part 2 on Nov. 18. On Tuesday, he released the track list, which includes the two new songs, “Kicked Outta Country” and “Gotta Go Through Hell.”

2016 CMA Awards Winners



Here’s the running list of this year’s winners at the 50th annual Country Music Association Awards:

2016 CMA Awards Winners

Entertainer of the Year

Garth Brooks — WINNER
Luke Bryan
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban


Album of the Year (Awarded to Artist and Producers)

Hero, Maren Morris
Mr. Misunderstood, Eric Church — WINNER
Storyteller, Carrie Underwood
Black, Dierks Bentley
Ripcord, Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood — WINNER

Male Vocalist of the Year

Eric Church
Tim McGraw
Chris Stapleton — WINNER
Dierks Bentley
Keith Urban

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town — WINNER
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts
Zac Brown Band

Song of the Year (Awarded to Songwriters)

“Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett
“Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw — WINNER
“My Church,” Maren Morris
“Record Year,” Eric Church
“Burning House,” Cam

Vocal Duo of the Year

Brothers Osborne — WINNER
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Joey + Rory
Maddie & Tae

New Artist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini
Brothers Osborne
Maren Morris — WINNER
Old Dominion
Cole Swindell

Single of the Year (Awarded to Artist and Producer)

“Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett — WINNER
“Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw
“My Church,” Maren Morris
“Nobody to Blame,” Chris Stapleton
“Record Year,” Eric Church

Musical Event of the Year

“Different for Girls,” Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King — WINNER
“Home Alone Tonight,” Luke Bryan feat. Karen Fairchild
“The Fighter,” Keith Urban feat. Carrie Underwood
“Think of You,” Chris Young with Cassadee Pope
“You Are My Sunshine,” Morgane Stapleton with Chris Stapleton

Music Video of the Year (Awarded to Artist and Director)

“Fire Away,” Chris Stapleton — WINNER
“Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw
“Record Year,” Eric Church
“Somewhere on a Beach,” Dierks Bentley
“Burning House,” Cam

Musician of the Year

Jerry Douglas
Paul Franklin
Dann Huff — WINNER
Brent Mason
Derek Wells

See Beyonce, Dixie Chicks Surprise the CMA Awards with ‘Daddy Lessons’ and ‘Long Time Gone’ Mashup


Surprise! During a night filled with tributes to the origins of country music, one of pop music’s biggest names teamed up with the Dixie Chicks for a mind-blowing performance at the 50th annual CMA Music Awards.

No one expected Beyonce to appear at the awards, especially with this year’s classic country-oriented lineup. But the addition does come just a year after Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton’s landmark performance, so it’s no surprise that the CMA’s wanted to create another legendary moment.

The Dixie Chicks, who haven’t been seen at most country music award shows since their George W. Bush controversy in 2003, mixed up their 2002 hit with Beyonce’s energetic track “Daddy Lessons.” It’s not often that you see a pop icon let another artist take over lead vocals, but Beyonce happily swapped verses with Chicks’ lead vocalist Natalie Maines.

“Daddy Lessons” is featured on Beyonce’s highly-acclaimed concept album, Lemonade. The track features Zydeco influences and elements from both country and bluegrass. Earlier this year, the Dixie Chicks added a cover of the track to their DCX MMXVI World Tour setlist. So the surprise pairing didn’t come completely out of the blue.

READ MORE: Watch the Dixie Chicks Cover Beyonce’s “Daddy Lessons”

So far, it seems like country fans are fairly split about the performance. Some applaud the CMA’s for bringing artists and genres together. Others feel like adding Beyonce takes away from the pure country feel of the 50th anniversary. No matter how you slice it, the surprise mashup will definitely be a moment that will go down in CMA history.

See Chris Stapleton and Dwight Yoakam’s Sing ‘Seven Spanish Angels’ at CMA Awards



Last year, Chris Stapleton, wife Morgane and pop star Justin Timberlake stole the CMA Awards with their explosive performance. One year later, the Stapletons took the CMA Awards stage again, this time sharing it with country legend Dwight Yoakam for a rendition of “Seven Spanish Angels.”

This year’s performance was more subdued but showed every bit of talent that the Stapletons and Yoakam bring to the stage. For dyed-in-the-wool country fans, this was one of the best performances of the show. The trio lent their rich vocals to the song, originally a duet by Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.

READ MORE: George Strait and Alan Jackson Share the Stage During 2016 CMA Awards

Last year, Stapleton and pop star Justin Timberlake stole the show with their duet of “Tennessee Whiskey” and Timberlake’s song, “Drink You Away.”

This year, Stapleton took home the award for Male Vocalist of the Year.

Yoakam also appeared during the CMA Awards opening performance to play a few lines of his song “Guitars and Cadillacs.”

Classic Country Stars Unite for CMA Awards Performance


A small army of classic country music stars united for a super medley to kick off the 2016 CMA Awards opener.

Vince Gill and Ben Haggard began with a tribute to Ben’s father, the late country music legend Merle Haggard. The duo played a couple verses and a chorus from “Mama Tried.”

The pace moved quickly from there.

Roy Clark and Brad Paisley followed up with a snippet of “Tiger By the Tail.” Carrie Underwood came on briefly for a bit of Dolly Parton’s “Stand By Your Man.”

Charley Pride and Brad Paisley played “Kiss an Angel Good Morning.” Alabama jammed out a few lines of “Play Me Some Country Music.”

Charlie Daniels jammed out “Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Reba played “Fancy.” Dwight Yoakam tapped out a few lines of “Guitars & Cadillacs.” Clint Black played “Killing Time.” Ricky Skaggs and Brad Paisley jumped right into the middle of “Country Boy.” Alan Jackson jammed out “Don’t Rock the Jukebox”

The closing moment brought Randy Travis and all the performers on stage for “Forever and Ever Amen.”

Carrie Underwood stopped the song for a moment and introduced Travis by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Randy Travis. Travis sang “Amen” to close the song.