Luke Bryan never won a CMA Award before he took the Entertainer of the Year category this year.
He says, “I have longed and sought after many years to get one of these in my hands. To get the respect of the CMA board and all of its voters and win this is a ginormous deal.”
Luke played for 1.7 million fans this year, and his live show is a major reason he won the CMA’s top award.
“From the bottom of my heart, I go out onstage every night and try to sing it and perform it and entertain it like it’s my last,” he says.
— Blake Shelton is now tied with George Strait and Vince Gill for the most wins in the Male Vocalist category with five trophies each. Before the show, Blake was looking back at past winners in the category and realized a lot of his Male Vocalist heroes never won this category. That’s why he name checked one of those guys in his speech.
Blake says, “It freaked me out a little bit and so I at least wanted to mention my personal favorite singer, Earl Thomas Conley, tonight.”
Blake promises he’s far from finished making music, though. He adds, “I hope this is like the second quarter right now.”
Since his wife, Miranda Lambert, won four trophies Wednesday night, Blake says, “For me, and for my family, this is maybe the biggest night of our lives as far as the music industry goes.”
— Miranda Lambert won her fifth consecutive Female Vocalist trophy Wednesday night, beating Reba‘s previous record of four consecutive wins in that category. Miranda admits she really doesn’t know what to say about breaking Reba’s record.
Says Miranda, “Every time I’m around her, I just try to shut up and listen because I know that I can learn from everything she says, every move she makes because she’s one of the people that paved the way for me to be standing here right now.”
Miranda also won Single of the Year for “Automatic” and Album of the Year for Platinum. Her fellow Texan Kacey Musgraves won Song of the Year for “Follow Your Arrow,” so it was a great night for the women of country.
“You know, girls do have a lot to say. Clearly, if you’re married, you know that,” Miranda says with a laugh. “I know that country music appreciates women and what they have to say. They always have. So, I feel like it’s about to come back to the forefront.”
— Brett Eldredge had his entire family in the audience to watch him win New Artist of the Year. He got to meet up with his mom and celebrate the win with her backstage before talking to the press.
“I’m still trying to soak it in,” Brett said. “I need to take a day tomorrow and just do nothing and throw a party or something. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. But I just wanna share it with the people that really helped me, because I couldn’t have done it without so many people, and this is amazing.”
Brett could be heard shouting, “I won!” as he made his way back to his seat in the arena.
— Kacey Musgraves won Song of the Year with Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally for writing “Follow Your Arrow,” a song that tackles gay rights and smoking pot. While Kacey marches to her own beat, she doesn’t accept the label of “country music rebel.” In fact, she points to her duet partner on the show, Loretta Lynn, as well as Hank Williams and Willie Nelson as country’s founding artists who sang about the lives of everyday Americans, just like she’s doing now.
Kacey says, “They were singing about things that impacted every single person in real life, and not doing it to push buttons. So, I’m nothing new. I’m just carrying on the tradition of telling the truth.”
Singing “You’re Lookin’ at Country” with Loretta was a big milestone for Kacey, too.
Says Kacey, “She’s been so sweet and so loving and encouraging. It’s really cool to see her in a sense pass a torch to me, that I will gladly take.”
Viewers at home will be surprised to learn Kacey lost her underwear just before the curtain went up on her performance with Loretta. Since he dress was see-through on the side, Kacey was wearing stick-on panties.
She says, “So, they were stuck on, and then they weren’t stuck on. And the curtain was about to come up, so literally I had to rip ’em off and throw ’em to the side. They’re somewhere around here. So, in case you see ’em, they’re mine.”
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