CMA Awards 2016: All About Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley's Opener
The show began with a huge musical number.
ByBY LESLEY MESSER
November 3, 2016, 12:54 AM
• 3 min read
-- Country music lovers had a lot of reasons to love the opening of the 2016 Country Music Association Awards.
To kick things off, a who's who of country legends, including Reba McEntire, Clint Black, and Ricky Skaggs took the stage at Nashville's Bridgestone Area to perform a mash-up of their classic songs, culminating with Randy Travis singing along to "Forever And Ever, Amen."
Travis, who was recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, suffered a stroke in 2013, but has been mounting a comeback.
Hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood joined in for the big number, before launching into an original song about this year's election ("We're so freaking sick of politics, we don't even care who wins," they sang. "This election is taking forever and ever ... Make it end.") Political jokes punctuated the rest of their opening remarks, with Paisley calling Underwood "crooked Carrie" and shouting "Wrong!" over her as she read names of the nominees.
They showed off a gift basket for guests full of "deplorables" -- a nod to a term Hillary Clinton used earlier this year to describe some of Donald Trump's supporters. Items included "camo and ammo," beer goggles ("Luke Bryan, you're gonna get a lot of use out of these!" Paisley quipped) and "a bra of many colors," which was meant as an homage to Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Dolly Parton.
Other stars were also given shout-outs, including Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and quarterback Peyton Manning, who is on-hand to present an award to his friend, Kenny Chesney. After telling Paisley and Underwood who he was there to support, they joked, to the tune of his Nationwide insurance jingle, "Eli's our favorite QB."