The cat's out of the bag, y'all! For those of us who've been dying for more glimpses of Underwood's burgeoning baby belly, the pretty country superstar's CMAs performance easily filled our cute bump quota. Bonus? Her funny co-host, Brad Paisley, let it slip that Underwood and her hunky NHL hubby Mike Fisher will soon be seeing blue — come spring, the couple will be welcoming a sweet baby boy. Underwood's bump was on full display during her stirring performance of her new hit "Something in the Water."
The king and queen of country reigned supreme once again, with Lambert winning three major awards and Shelton securing the title of male vocalist of the year for his fifth consecutive year. Like her towering spouse, Lambert took home her fifth vocalist of the year trophy (for female, obviously). She also picked up awards for album of the year and best single. You know, not to mention that — once again — they were so frickin' cute we could hardly stand it.
It wasn't just an armful of trophies that has people buzzing about Lambert. In the midst of a banner year that has included health and lifestyle changes evident in her fit frame, the country beauty took the stage with Meghan Trainor to sing the pop singer's super hit "All About That Bass" for the first crossover collaboration of the night.
Sure, Paisley and Underwood are wholesome and sweet — but that doesn't mean these two don't know how to toe the line on hot-button topics. During their opening skit, Paisley joked he was glad that not everyone was at the awards show... namely "a feisty little nurse in Maine." They then broke into an original song called "Quarantine" to the tune of the Dolly Parton classic "Jolene." But was the joke too much, too soon? In poor taste? Time will tell how the public feels about the epidemic-themed humor.
Not only did rock legend Steven Tyler show up to present an award at the CMAs, but he also sang a snippet of "Cryin'" with Underwood and Paisley. And not only did he sing a snippet of "Cryin'" with Underwood and Paisley, but he also declared that "country music is the new rock 'n' roll." Some detractors say he looked like an old lady, in which case that's one smokin' hot grandma, y'all. (Sadly, that's not the strangest thing I've said tonight.)
Sure, there were a few crossover collaborations and plenty of nods to pop culture. But much of the show seemed to reflect a return to country's more classic roots, such as a performance by country classic Loretta Lynn and appearances by Garth Brooks and Vince Gill. But true to form, the real King of Country, George Strait, ran away with our hearts when he took the stage with Eric Church to perform his song "Cowboys Like Us." Swoon.
These country co-hosts aren't afraid of ruffling a few feathers. In addition to cracking jokes about Ebola, Paisley and Underwood called out Renee Zellweger, who has been making headlines as of late for her new look. First, they "refused" to joke about the actress, and then this: "First of all… she could be here. I mean, how would we know?" Yowza. Paisley also tossed out a line referencing ABC's new TV series Black-ish, saying, "This ain't it. In the meantime, I hope y'all are enjoying... white-ish."
Meghan Trainor wasn't the only pop princess to make her way to the CMAs stage. In what was possibly the most anticipated duet of the night, Ariana Grande joined country powerhouse group Little Big Town after their performance of "Day Drinking" to sing — what else? — her hit "Bang Bang." In crazy, cool and lighted costumes, no less.
Luke Bryan may have taken home top honors at the CMAs by winning for Entertainer of the Year, but you might say the true prize was in sharing the stage — albeit briefly — with country music royalty Garth Brooks. "I've never met Garth Brooks before," Bryan gushed. "Can I have another hug?" And, yes, he totally got another manly hug before accepting his very first CMA.
Fresh from winning the BMI Icon Award on Tuesday, country music mainstay Vince Gill nabbed the Irving Wahl Award for Excellence. Only ever bestowed upon Johnny Cash before Gill, the special honor recognizes those who have made a historic impact on country music. As his peers and fellow country music legends praised him, Gill broke down in tears. And, in full disclosure, so did we.
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