Country music is having a moment. With Blake Shelton charming audiences on the Voice, Jana Kramer heating it up on the Dancing with the Stars dance floor, and even mainstream pop stars like Lady Gaga wanting to get in on the fun (her latest No. 1 album Joanne was country-inspired), it’s impressive that for as fresh as country feels, the Country Music Awards are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Read below to find out all you need to know about this special anniversary edition of the CMAs.
So, when and where is this happening?
The awards will take place Wednesday, Nov. 2 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
But I don’t live in Nashville! How can I watch?
No Nashville, no problem! You can tune in at 8/7c on ABC to catch the fun.
Country darlings Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will return as co-hosts for the ninth straight year. Back when the news was announced, Paisley wrote on Instagram, “Last year they let me pull my pants down on national tv, I wonder what they will let me do this year,” so you just know this night is going to be good.
Who will be performing?
If we’re being honest, it’s more like who won’t be performing? All the big names will be here — and we mean all! (This is country music’s biggest night ever, after all). Performers include Eric Church, Brooks & Dunn, Clint Black, Maren Morris, Charley Pride, Martina McBride, Keith Urban, George Strait, Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks with wife Trisha Yearwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Randy Travis, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Alabama, Thomas Rhett, and the list goes on. You can find the full line-up here.
Who’s up for the big awards?
Just a sneak peek at some of the big ones:
- Entertainer of the Year
- Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban
- Single of the Year
- “Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett, “Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw, “My Church,” Maren Morris, “Nobody to Blame,” Chris Stapleton, “Record Year,” Eric Church
- Female Vocalist of the Year
- Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Carrie Underwood
- Male Vocalist of the Year
- Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Tim McGraw, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban
Who decides who wins?
The nominees and winners are chosen by the 6,300 industry professional members of CMA. Fun fact: When the CMA was established in 1958, it was the first trade organization dedicated to promoting a specific genre of music. The first awards show was held in 1967, and since then, the CMA Awards have become the longest-running annual music awards program on network television.