6 Best Moments of the CMA Awards

The 2015 CMA Awards (a.k.a the water cooler gossip at work on Thursday) had some pretty mixed reviews. There are countless articles and disagreements regarding outfits, performances, and winners. While scrolling through lists of the best and worst moments, it was funny to see how some peoples opinions of best moments were others ideas of the worst. I think people just don’t know how to feel about the overall award show this year, except for one thing — no Taylor Swift. She has moved on from country music and I am glad everyone finally acknowledged it. Love it or hate it though, I want to focus on the positive aspects. We can bash on it all we want, but there were some pretty awesome parts that show it hasn’t gone completely down hill.

6. Chris Stapleton’s Many Wins

Stapleton made a name for himself when he won best new artist, best album for Traveller (which spiked 4,000% the day after the show), and best male vocalist. USA Today would even say he “is here to save country music.” This genre has taken an interesting direction in the past decade and Stapleton has taken it back to its real roots. He said in his acceptance speech, “about two years ago I lost my dad and I made this record thinking about the music he would have liked.” He was genuinely surprised by his many wins and with a beard like that you can’t help but love him.

5. Luke Bryan Not Shaking His Butt

Luke is turning 40 next year and, although he won entertainer of the year, he let go of his bro country image with his performance of “Strip It Down,” while fully clothed. We were finally able to focus on his vocals to understand why he was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year. It is good to see him finally acting his age.

2004. Tribute to the Late Little Jimmy Dickens

This 4-foot-11 Grand Ole Opry star made many appearances in earlier CMA awards with Brad and Carrie. He unfortunately passed away earlier this year so it was only right to honor him with an urn. Well a miniature urn inside a bigger urn that Paisley pulled out. He mentioned that Dickens wanted to leave making people laugh and he surely accomplished that. There were a few questionable jokes during their intro, but they nailed that one.

3. Carrie Underwood.

As Little Big Town would say, I’ve got a girl crush. With her 12 perfect outfit changes and wowing of the crowd with her current song “Smoke Break,” there was nothing she did that wasn’t flawless. Whether she had princess Leia buns or knee high leather boots, she rocked it. Her and Brad Paisleys monologue wasn’t their best one in their eight years as hosts, but she looked pretty doing it.

2. Miranda Lambert Keeping it Honest

Great timing Blake. With their split up only months ago and Blake’s announcement of his new girlfriend just 20 minutes before the show, Miranda’s statement of “I needed a bright spot this year” is very accurate. She deserved Female Vocalist of the Year and killed her performance of “Bathroom Sink” with her new pink hair. Blake tried to “win” the break up but failed. I can’t wait to see the new album she releases all about him.

1. Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton

Since I began with Chris Stapleton, it is only fair to end with him considering his enormous success during the award show. Not only did he win three awards as I mentioned earlier, but also had the best performance of the night hands down. I think who really stole the show though was JT. “The Nashville sound meets the soul of Memphis” said Brad Paisley. I would not be upset if Timberlake went country, because I believe he can do it all. Thank you to this duo for killing it.

2608Even though ratings were down 16% from last year, I think country music is finally starting to get over the hump of the pop sound. With the successful boom of Chris Stapleton and the non-bro Luke Bryan, I believe that country music will start to make its way back up. There is hope for this genre.


Filed under Awards, Blog Post 4, Lists

11 Responses to 6 Best Moments of the CMA Awards

  1. Hannah Evans

    Nice article! Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to watch the CMA’s this year but this was a nice recap! I’m actually listening to Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” as we speak. It’s nice that you noted you think that country music is finally heading in the right direction and getting over the “hump”. I think you might be right, and after taking this class I’ve definitely learned that the bro-country phase we are going through does not give a good tribute to all that the country genre has to offer. I’m curious as to why the ratings went down 16% for this show…maybe less people are interested in traditional awards shows these days. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

  2. Kayla Miracle

    I really like this article! I didn’t get to watch the CMA’s this year but am searching the internet frantically for a way to watch it. I am very much so an award show girl, I thrive off of them – even the ones that I don’t know much about the categories. I like that you stated that there are positive aspects of this years CMA’s. It’s often asked of me why I “waste” my time watching award shows but I think it’s so important to watch them and and enjoy them without tearing them apart – it’s an excellent way to stay on top of pop culture news, too! Even though I couldn’t watch the award show, you better believe I searched for Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton’s performance. I am obsessed. I declared my love for Justin when I first learned to speak so I’m a tad biased, however, it’s pretty universally accepted that their performance rocked. JT is such a versatile singer and performer and it came through in this performance with Chris so well. Ugh I can’t say enough good things! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Abby Bourland

    I loved your post, Lauren! I didn’t get a chance to watch the CMA Awards, but I feel like you gave me a really good summary. I love how you started with #6 so I had to continue reading until I got to the very best moment. I loved learning about the people mention, including Christ Stapleton. I accrued much respect for Chris Stapleton and his album contribution to his dad. I also thought your GIF of Luke Bryan was funny. I feel bad for Miranda Lambert :/. How could Blake Shelton say he had a girlfriend within 20 minutes of the show??? But the thing that struck me the hardest was Justin Timberlake. If I could advise him, I would highly recommend he produce country music!

  4. Alyssa Buchanan

    Great post. I can’t remember the last time that I watched the CMA’s, and this year was no different. However I’m always a little curious as to what social media is in a frenzy about so this was great. Your hyperlinks were really helpful in adding facts to your argument. I’m so sad that Blake has a new girlfriend. Miranda and Blake were my favorite! I’m also a “The Voice” fan and really don’y see Blake and Gwen Stefani being real. Kind of seems like I missed a few big country music moments so, thanks, I’m glad you talked about them!

  5. Kaki Miller

    This article is the perfect place to come get a short brief on the big moments of the CMA’s. I was also unable to watch the show when it was broadcasted last Wednesday, but there was definitely buzz about many of these topics you hit on your list. I like how you have 6 major events and they are all worthy of being included. Miranda’s single-woman come back start, Carrie Underwood being fabulous as usual, and of course Justin Timberlake’s country duo with Chris Stapleton are my favorite parts of your article. If I hadn’t had so many tests last week I totally would have watched it live, hopefully next year!

  6. Darah Welch

    Lauren, although I was unable to watch the Country Music Awards myself, I feel as if I watched it after reading your highlights. Several of the highlights I found interesting were the ones about Chris Stapleton. To be honest, I had never heard of him before Monday, but I REALLY liked his sound and style and general appearance. His rugged look was reminiscent of one of the rednecks from the Duck Dynasty clan. I agree with you that #1 should be Justin Timberlake and him performing together. Both duets were so well performed and I really appreciated how flexible Justin’s style is.

  7. Annie G

    This was a great post! I really liked the comment about Luke Bryan and not shaking his butt, I honestly had no idea he was almost 40 so your comment about him finally acting his age was perfect. Justin Timberlake and Chris Stappleton definitely stole the show with their duet and it was my favorite moment by far. It will be definitely be talked about for a long time. I also loved how you mentioned all of Carrie Underwood’s outfit changes, I love watching awards shows like the Grammies because of all the outfits so I love that Carrie brought a little bit of that to the CMA’s!

  8. Amanda

    I love this article. I wasn’t able to watch the awards so I love hearing peoples’ comments about it. I completely agree with your comments about Luke Bryan. I think he’s super attractive and a great performer, but agree that he should probably start acting his age and focus on his vocals more. I also loved the part about Carrie Underwood. I remember seeing her in concert and I was in awe of her constant outfit changes, and her ability to still perform flawlessly while doing so. Your commentary about Miranda Lambert is spot on and I too am anticipating her post breakup album as well. I’m hoping it’s Taylor Swift- esque will details about the breakup and relationship. Maybe we’ll get to see the true side of Blake Shelton! I’m interested to see what Justin Timberlake will do next with regards to country music. He doesn’t seem like a good fit to me, but I have no doubt he could change my mind.

  9. Tyler Dial

    Dear Lauren I couldn’t agree with you more. This was one of the best CMA’s I’ve seen and it included the best performance I’ve seen in a very long time. Chris Stapleton’s triumph was also a triumph for REAL country music fans. I read one article that said that night was the death of bro country. Florida Georgia Line didn’t make a dent in the night after they followed Stapleton. Kacey Musgraves also had a wonderful performance. As much as I love Carrie Underwood, I don’t think her performance was that great. I might be a little biased, though, because I’m not a big fan of that song. Great article!

  10. Ginny Montalbano

    Lauren, great post! I was able to watch the CMAs and agreed with your list! I absolutely love Carrie Underwood and her outfit choices were spot on. I think she and Brad have such a great, funny chemistry that makes the show a lot more fun to watch as a viewer. I wasn’t the biggest fan of their opening but it had some good moments. I also agreed with you about Luke Bryan- finally an award performance where his vocals can shine! I wish he would’ve played the piano at the same time like he does during his concerts during “Strip It Down”, but by not doing that the spotlight was completely on his vocal ability and the song itself.

  11. Kelby Floerke

    Lauren, I cannot believe I just saw this post! You told me that this was one of your favorite posts that you have written so I am glad that I got to read it. This really was a great read. I completely agree with everything you said. I really liked how you talked about Carrie Underwood. I am not the biggest fan of her music but I think she is absolutely gorgeous! I think she was the perfect person to host the CMA awards. I actually wrote an entire blog post on Chris Stapleton and JTs performance because I was that obsessed with it. I really hope you are right when you say that Chris Stapleton might be bringing back the country in country music. Great read.

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