The 48th Annual CMA Awards: The Performances

ABCWednesday night’s CMA Awards, which aired live from Nashville on ABC, packed in the maximum number of musical performances possible over three hours, with nearly every big star taking a turn in the spotlight, and some unexpected collaborations providing highlights.  Here’s who sang what:

The show opened with Kenny Chesney singing “American Kids,” with a Day-Glo painted bus in the background and many people dressed like hippies frolicking around the stage.

Miranda Lambert and Meghan Trainor, both wearing short party dresses, duetted on Meghan’s eight-weeks-at-#1 pop hit “All About That Bass,” and sounded great together.  Later, co-host Brad Paisley told Meghan to come over to country music by changing the title to “All About That Bass” — as in the fish.

Lady Antebellum sang “Bartender,” followed by Florida Georgia Line doing a stripped-down version of “Dirt,” during which B.K. and Tyler both sat on stools and played guitar.

Keith Urban performed “Somewhere in My Car” with some impressive stage lighting and video effects.

The Band Perry paid tribute to the legendary Glen Campbell with a version of his classic, “Gentle on My Mind.”

Kacey Musgraves teamed up with the legendary Loretta Lynn for a run through of Loretta’s hit “You’re Lookin’ at Country.”

Jason Aldean sang “Burnin’ It Down.”

Little Big Town put on a terrific performance of “Day Drinking,” wearing clothing accentuated with light-up neon piping that changed colors throughout the song.  Behind them were a series of risers that contained a large drum corps, whose outfits were synced to the group, color-wise.  Then, pop star Ariana Grande, clad in a silver two-piece outfit with the same light-up piping, showed up to sing her hit “Bang Bang,” which was originally a three-way collaboration between herself, British singer Jessie J and rapper Nicki Minaj.  There was no rapping, but the Little Big Town women sounded great singing with Ariana, and everything looked great, as the colors changed from red to white to a variety of other colors.

Tim McGraw sang “Shotgun Rider.”

Cole Swindell did a brief performance of “Chillin’ It.”

Dierks Bentley did a great job with “Drunk on a Plane,” while video screens flashed arrivals and departures, and at one point made it look like he was standing on a runway in front of an actual plane.

Co-host Brad Paisley sang “Perfect Storm,” and Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe duetted on “Lonely Tonight.”

Co-host Carrie Underwood sang her latest hit “Something in the Water,” backed by effects that looked like crashing waves; she was also joined by a gospel choir.

Luke Bryan sang “Roller Coaster,” and wood coaster tracks were partially built around the stage set.

Miranda Lambert teamed up with Little Big Town for “Smokin’ and Drinkin’,” and Miranda’s vocals blended perfectly with those of Kimberly and Karen.  She looked like the fifth member of the group.

George Strait and Eric Church teamed up for a duet on “Cowboys Like Us.”

Thomas Rhett sang a snippet of “Get Me Some of That.”

The Doobie Brothers, who recently released a new album, Southbound, that features them reworking their classics with today’s country stars, sang “Listen to the Music” with Hunter Hayes, Jennifer Nettles and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum.  After Luke Bryan won Entertainer of the Year, they closed the show with “Takin’ It to the Streets,” sung by Michael McDonald.  The Nashville resident is no longer a member of the Doobies, but he rejoined them for the Southbound project.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

CMA Awards Winners List

Image Courtesy CMAHere are the winners of the 48th Annual CMA Awards, held in Nashville Wednesday night:

Entertainer of the Year
Luke Bryan

Album of the Year
Platinum, Miranda Lambert

Female Vocalist of the Year
Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist of the Year
Blake Shelton

Vocal Group of the Year
Little Big Town

Vocal Duo of the Year
Florida Georgia Line

New Artist of the Year
Brett Eldredge

Single of the Year
“Automatic,” Miranda Lambert

Song of the Year
“Follow Your Arrow,” Kacey Musgraves

Music Video of the Year
“Drunk on a Plane,” Dierks Bentley

Musical Event of the Year
“We Were Us,” Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert

Musician of the Year
Mac McAnally

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Carrie Underwood Expecting a Boy

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleCarrie Underwood is having a boy.

A publicist for Carrie confirmed to ABC News Radio on Wednesday night that the pregnant singer is expecting a boy with her husband, NHL player Mike Fisher.

Brad Paisley appeared to reveal the gender of the baby during his opening monologue with Carrie at the CMA Awards in Nashville earlier on Wednesday night. He asked her to tell him whether she’s having a boy or a girl. She whispered into his ear; later, he suggested, “We can name him Garth,” after Garth Brooks. Carrie responded, “What are you doing? Well, you kept that secret for a whole two minutes.”

Carrie announced the pregnancy on Twitter September 1.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Martina McBride’s R&B-Inspired Album, “Everlasting,” Earned Her a Surprise CMA Female Vocalist Nod

Image Courtesy Vinyl RecordingsMartina McBride didn’t expect to hear her name called as a nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year at this year’s CMA Awards. She holds the records for most wins in that category with four trophies along with Reba and Miranda Lambert, but Martina’s career took a left turn this year with her new album, Everlasting. The project features a throwback R&B vibe not geared towards country radio, but the CMA voters seemed to love Martina’s new material anyway.

She says with a laugh, “I just thought that it would be an off-year.  So, when I got the news, I was so excited and appreciative and grateful and blessed. It’s a neat thing. It’s a great thing.”

Martina is a presenter on the 48th Annual CMA Awards airing Wednesday night at 8 ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sam Hunt Scores #1 Country Album with Debut Project, “Montevallo”

Image Courtesy Universal Music GroupSam Hunt‘s debut album, Montevallo, lands at #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart with sales of 70,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan. The project bows at #3 on the overall Billboard 200 albums chart.

Montevallo includes Sam’s debut hit, “Leave the Night On.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brett Eldredge Imagines What He’ll Feel When His CMA Awards Category Comes Up Tonight

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge doesn’t expect to be a nervous wreck when his name is called as a nominee for New Artist of the Year at Wednesday night’s CMA Awards.

Imagining himself in that moment, Brett says, “It’s like, at this point, whatever happens happens. Everybody has worked really hard to get to that point, and I know that everybody that I’m sitting next to have all fought and had sleepless nights.”

He adds, “We’ve all been in this fight together.”

Brett would love to share a New Artist of the Year win with his fans, family and all the other people who have supported his dreams of country stardom. His parents and brother will be in the audience, too.

Look for Brett to also present a trophy on the 48th Annual CMA Awards Wednesday night at 8 ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert’s Partnership with Ram Trucks Kicking Off with MuttNation Foundation Auction

Image Courtesy Becky FlukeMiranda Lambert has begun a partnership with Ram Trucks, starting with the auction of a customized Laramie Longhorn truck to benefit Miranda’s MuttNation Foundation. The bidding is now underway through November 15 at

“I have lived my entire life surrounded by trucks even to this day,” Miranda says. “I have also written songs that mention trucks, so I am so happy to be partnering with Ram. And I’m thankful for their generosity in allowing me to auction off a Ram Laramie Longhorn for MuttNation Foundation. It’s a cause so close to my heart!”

You can also bid on Miranda concert tickets and autographed guitars on eBay. Miranda’s partnership with Ram Trucks will continue into 2015.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Faith Hill Returning to the Movies in Indie Crime Drama, “Dixieland”

Image Courtesy Ida Mae Astute/ABCFaith Hill is returning to the big screen after a decade away in a new independent crime drama, titled Dixieland.

According to Deadline, Faith plays the mother of a young man released from prison in Mississippi. He moves back in with his mom and falls for the troubled girl next year. Magic Mike star Riley Keough and The LefotversChris Zylka have the lead roles.

Faith made her last film appearance in 2004’s Stepford Wives with Nicole Kidman.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Garth Brooks Announces Tour Dates in Tulsa, OK

Image Courtesy Pearl Records/SonyGarth Brooks is taking his World Tour to Tulsa, OK January 15, 16 and 17. It’s the first time he’s performed there in more than 17 years. Trisha Yearwood is also on the bill.

Tickets go on sale Friday, November 14 through Ticketmaster.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Eric Church’s Gamble on “The Outsiders” Paid Off with Multiple CMA Awards Nominations

Image Courtesy CMAEric Church won CMA Album of the Year for his last project, Chief, and now he’s in that category again this year with The Outsiders. Since he intentionally tried to defy everyone’s expectations while making The Outsiders, Eric wasn’t sure how the new music would go over once he put it out.

“I think that was kinda what we were trying do with this album is try and creatively to go somewhere that people didn’t expect us to go and maybe we didn’t expect us to go,” Eric explains.

Eric’s gamble paid off with The Outsiders becoming one of 2014’s top-selling country albums. The hit single from the project, “Give Me Back My Hometown” is up for Single and Song of the Year at the CMA Awards as well.

Eric says of The Outsiders‘ success, “It’s really cool. I wasn’t sure when we finished it if it was commercial at all. So, to have some commercial success with it and to get a nomination is really cool.”

Look for Eric to perform with George Strait on the 48th Annual CMA Awards airing Wednesday night at 8 ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio