CMT Awards bring honkey-tonkin’ good time to Nashville


Photo courtesy of CMT

Fun, funky and fascinating are just three of many words that capture the essence of the 2017 Country Music Television Awards. Held in Nashville’s Music City Center on Wednesday, the fan-based award show officially kicked off the highly anticipated Country Music Association Music Festival and its many festivities.

A bluesy tribute to the late Gregg Allman began the award show. A delicious Jason Aldean sandwich (that is, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley to Aldean’s right and Darius Rucker to his left) sang “Midnight Rider” with former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks on the strings.

“How about that Gregg Allman all-star jam,” solo host Charles Esten, perhaps better known by his television name, Deacon Claybourne, asked as he approached the audience.

Both Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood achieved honorable statuses at this year’s CMT Awards. Urban was the night’s top winner, winning in each category: Male Video of the Year, Social Superstar of the Year, Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year with Underwood.  Meanwhile, Underwood broke the all-time record for CMT wins with her victory in the Female Video of the Year category with her single “Church Bells.”

“This award show is really cool because it’s voted on by you guys, and you guys are the ones that buy our music, that come see us play, that support us in every single way, so it’s only fair that you guys should get a say-so. Thank you so much for this,” Underwood said, accepting her award. She left her fans with, “Go Preds!”

Speaking of the Nashville Predators, it was only fitting that their historic season come up at an  award show hosted in their hometown. Whether it was presenter Ashton Kutcher dropping a catfish as he would a mic or Esten cracking a stream of jokes about Underwood’s love for husband Mike Fisher’s team.

“Where’s your ‘Mike’ now?” Esten asked her in reference to both her husband (who traveled to Pittsburgh earlier in the day to prepare for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final) and the microphone she was holding earlier in the show.

As the night went on, crossover collaborations proved to be the hottest trend in country music.

First to the plate was Florida Georgia Line with The Chainsmokers. On the rooftop of FGL House, the country pair’s brand new bar located right in the heart of Downtown Nashville, the two male duos delivered a duet of The Chainsmokers’ “Last Day Alive” with fireworks to send them offstage (rather the rooftop in this case) with a bang.

The night only got better with a collaboration between Luke Bryan and Jason Derulo. The two sang Bryan’s “Strip it Down,” and that’s just what they did. In a very “stripped-down” performance, even country music fans could appreciate Derulo’s pop influence. The two later transitioned into Derulo’s “Want to Want Me,” and they also took home the award for CMT Performance of the Year for their CMT Crossroads performance.

Literally springing forth from the floor, Brett Eldredge stuck to a solo performance, but he wasn’t the only one onstage. Behind him a drumline amped up his performance of “Somethin’ I’m Good At.”

Lady Antebellum shut the night down with their one-of-a-kind crossover collaboration with Earth, Wind & Fire. Lady Antebellum took the stage alone with their song “You Look Good,” but they later welcomed the iconic group to the stage for a performance of their 1978 hit “September.”

The night ended with a groovy performance that took everyone back to the ’70s.

Click here for the full list of winners.

Follow Tayhlor Stephenson on Twitter at @tayhlor_s. 

To contact Lifestyles Editor Wesley McIntyre, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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