Everything You Need to Know About the 2016 CMA Awards
Country Music's Biggest Night is coming up, and it's going to be even bigger this year. The CMA Awards are celebrating 50 years of honoring the best and the brightest in country music in 2016, so this year's ceremony will be an event that country music fans won't want to miss.
Need to catch up on all the details of the 2016 CMA Awards? The Boot has rounded up everything you need to know for the annual event -- just read on!
When and Where Are the 2016 CMA Awards?
The 2016 CMA Awards will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 2. The awards show is set to begin at 8PM ET.
Where Can I Watch the 2016 CMA Awards and the 2016 CMA Awards Red Carpet?
The awards ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 8PM ET.
Beginning at 5:30PM ET, The Boot will be carrying Taste of Country's red carpet livestream, hosted by Taste of Country Nights host Sam Alex and “Someone to Take Your Place” singer Tara Thompson.
Who’s Hosting the 2016 CMA Awards?
For the ninth consecutive year, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will return as co-hosts for the CMA Awards. The longtime hosts have pushed the boundaries a little more each year, including (well, almost) a "naked host selfie" with Paisley during last year's monologue.
“We want it to feel like the 50th year. We want it to be big and be beautiful and be elegant,” says Underwood. “Brad says he’s going to wear a tux. We’ll see. We’ve been kind of already initially starting to talk about the tone we want to set for the awards, because it is, like I said, a special one.”
In honor of the CMA Awards' five decades, Underwood's wardrobe will pay tribute to the 1960s, '70s, '80s, '90s and 2000s.
“There are some looks throughout our night that are very singular-artist inspired, and it should be evident,” Underwood explains. “But going back, there are just so many incredible, legendary ladies of country music. I didn’t wanna really completely pigeonhole myself to one artist. It’s about paying tribute as well.”
There's no telling what the two have up their sleeves for this year -- though Underwood admits that she would prefer to stay away from politics!
Who’s Nominated at the 2016 CMA Awards?
Nominations for the 2016 CMA Awards have surprised fans and artists alike -- both in good and bad ways. Carrie Underwood's nomination for Entertainer of the Year had many fans saying "it's about time," while the lack of nods for big names such as Jason Aldean and Cole Swindell had others upset.
Newcomer Maren Morris leads the way with seven nominations, with Chris Stapleton just behind her with six. Other artists with multiple nominations include Eric Church, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley,Tim McGraw, and Underwood.
Who’s Going to Win at the 2016 CMA Awards?
Fans will have to wait until Nov. 2 to find out ... but in the meantime, check out The Boot's readers vs. staff predictions. Readers can stick with The Boot on the night of the CMAs for details on winners as they're revealed as well.
We do know that Dolly Parton will be receiving a special honor, the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, that night. Established in 2012, the honor recognizes “an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in country music … [and] who has achieved both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales and public representation at the highest level." Recipients have “positively impacted and contributed to the growth of the genre throughout a course of years that have proven to have an unprecedented historical impact on fans and industry alike."
Additionally, we also know that Kenny Chesney will be honored with the Pinnacle Award, which “recognizes an artist who has achieved global prominence through concert performances and record sales at levels unique in country music” and “has also attained the highest degree of recognition within the broad expanse of music worldwide." Pinnacle Award winners’ “talent and presence will have a long-term positive impact on the appreciation of country music for generations to come.”
Who’s Performing at the 2016 CMA Awards?
The Country Music Association revealed the first few performers for the 2016 CMA Awards on Oct. 10; Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Maren Morris, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley will all take the stage during the 50th annual awards ceremony. On Oct. 17, the CMA shared that Kelsea Ballerini, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Kacey Musgraves will all perform as well.
One of the biggest announcement of performers, however, came on Oct. 24, when the Country Music Association revealed that Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Charley Pride and George Strait will all perform at the 50th annual CMA Awards. Together, the seven legends -- all former Entertainers of the Year -- have received 375 CMA Awards nominations and won 94 times; Brooks & Dunn, Gill, McEntire and Pride are all former CMA Awards hosts as well.
On Oct. 26, though, the CMA topped even that announcement by revealing that Randy Travis will be performing at this year's ceremony. Since his 2013 stroke, Travis has been largely unable to speak (or sing); with the exception of a private funeral in early February and his Country Music Hall of Fame induction in mid-October, Travis has not sang or even spoken much in public since his stroke (he sang “Amazing Grace” at both events). It’s unclear what his performance at the CMA Awards will entail, but no matter how much time Travis spends onstage, his appearance will likely be one of the evening’s highlights.
At the same time as the announcement of Travis' performance, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Roy Clark, Clint Black, Jason Aldean, Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Elle King, Pentatonix and Dwight Yoakam were all added to the show’s performance schedule.
Although the performers have been mostly tight-lipped about what their time on stage will entail, a few have offered some hints: Ballerini will be performing her recent single "Peter Pan," Nettles and Pentatonix will perform Dolly Parton's "Jolene," Bryan will sing "Move," his current single," Brooks & Dunn will team with Aldean for "Brand New Man," Bentley and King will sing their Musical Event of the Year-winning song "Different for Girls," and Brooks and Yearwood will be performing a medley of classic country duets.
The CMA saved a big performance announcement for the day of the awards, though: With just a few hours left until the 2016 CMA Awards broadcast, it's been announced the Beyonce will be performing. No further details of Queen Bey's performance have been revealed, though a source tells Us Weekly, “It’s going to be a huge performance. Epic!” Beyonce’s newest album, Lemonade, contains a country-tinged song called “Daddy Lessons” and some are speculating that she will perform that song with the Dixie Chicks, who covered “Daddy Lessons” throughout their 2016 DCX MMXVI World Tour.
In addition to his performance at the CMAs themselves, Bentley will be performing outside Bridgestone Arena the morning of the awards show as well. The free concert will be part of Good Morning America‘s celebration of the CMA Awards; host Lara Spencer will be in Music City for the show, which will air on GMA between 6AM and 8AM local time. Fans are, of course, invited to attend the event and can begin arriving at Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 5:30AM.
Who’s Presenting at the 2016 CMA Awards?
Cam and Cole Swindell. both 2016 CMA Awards nominees, are among the celebrities who will grace the CMAs’ stage as presenters on Nov. 2. Also among this year’s presenters are Country Music Hall of Famer and three-time CMA winner Bill Anderson; three-time CMA Awards winner Lee Greenwood; 1974’s Female Vocalist of the Year, Olivia Newton-John; two-time CMAs winners and Country Music Hall of Fame members the Oak Ridge Boys; Country Music Hall of Famer Brenda Lee; Barbara Mandrell, a four-time CMA Awards winner; and actress and aspiring country artist Hayley Orrantia.
Other stars set to help present awards during the 2016 CMA Awards include “Final Five” Summer Olympics gymnasts Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman; Once Upon a Time‘s Josh Dallas; Jennifer Garner; ESPN College GameDay’s Kirk Herbstreit; Peyton Manning; Matthew McConaughey; The Goldbergs‘ Wendi McLendon-Covey; ESPN’s Samantha Ponder; Sharon Stone; and Lily Tomlin.
Who Will Be Attending the 2016 CMA Awards?
For sure, you'll see all of this year's performers and presenters in the audience. But considering that the CMAs are Country Music's Biggest Night, and that 2016 is the awards show's 50th anniversary, it's a safe bet to assume that just about every big name in country music will be there.
One country star who won't be there? Brett Eldredge ... but he's got a really good excuse!
... And What's That "Forever Country" Thing All About?
In honor of the CMA Awards' 50th anniversary, 30 of the biggest names in country music came together for "Forever Country," a single and music video -- an impressive medley of John Denver‘s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Willie Nelson‘s “On the Road Again” and Parton‘s “I Will Always Love You.” CMA Award-winning songwriter Shane McAnally produced “Forever Country,” while the accompanying video was directed by Grammy Award-winning director Joseph Kahn.
“We said we’re going to do a mashup like “We Are the World,” and people were like, ‘What?'” McAnally recalls, also admitting that Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind” and Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler" were considered for inclusion in the project. “After Dolly and George Strait agreed to do it, it felt like everyone took a step back and were like, ‘Wait, what is this?’ Then we were able to put all of those asks out to the stars.”
“Forever Country” is available for download on iTunes; the song debuted on the charts at No. 1. Proceeds go to the CMA Foundation’s music education work.
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