The 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards is one for the record books. The memorable night opened with Vince Gill and Merle Haggard’s son, Ben Haggard, singing “Mama Tried.” They were followed by a handful of current and classic country artists singing a medley of the genre’s biggest songs from the past five-decades, including Charley Pride for “Kiss and Angel Good Morning,” Charlie Daniels for “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and Dwight Yoakam for “Guitars, Cadillacs.” The highlight of the opening number came when Randy Travis joined Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and all of the stars as they collectively sang “Forever and Ever, Amen.” Travis, who continues to recover from a stroke that nearly took his life in 2013, sang the last line of the song.
Carrie Underwood and Chris Stapleton are celebrating their big wins at the 50th annual CMA Awards. Underwood picked up the trophy for Female Vocalist of the Year, while Stapleton won Male Vocalist of the Year. It was Underwood’s fourth time taking home the honor. She tearfully thanked her husband, Mike Fisher, and their son, along with a handful of others. This marks the second consecutive year that Stapleton has taken home the trophy, saying, “These are the best people in the world, country music people.”