There was no shortage of cowboy hats, collaborations or Taylor Swift jokes at Nashville's biggest party
It’s a good thing that what happens in Nashville doesn’t stay in Nashville.
Country’s finest laid on the hair spray and ditched their cowboy boots for Wednesday’s CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. Lucky for us, there was no shortage of down-home, downright awesome fun (and no scarcity of accolades for Miranda Lambert … or cowboy hats).
Here’s what went down at Nashville’s biggest party.
1. Miranda Lambert’s CMAs Domination
She performed twice, took home four CMA Awards and changed her outfit roughly a million times. Basically, Lambert ruled over the CMAs. From her starting curly-locked look on stage with Meghan Trainor to her more somber, straight-haired song with Little Big Town, there was barely a moment when the “Smokin’ and Drinkin'” singer wasn’t on the screen – and we’re okay with that. Lambert glittered, glowed and looked fabulous beside husband Blake Shelton all night (and we think entertainer of the year winner Luke Bryan would agree). Bow down to the Beyoncé of country!
2. Pop Princess Taylor Swift Dethroned
Well, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Hosts Paisley and Underwood noted official pop princess Taylor Swift’s Nashville departure, playfully pointing out “the epidemic we are all facing”: Postpartum Taylor Swift Disorder. “Just going to have to shake it off,” they woefully sang, before promising the absent nominee that she always has a place in country music. “If you ever want to come back, there is a seat for you right here,” added Paisley. “It’s Blake’s [Shelton]. We will kick him out.”
3. Carrie’s Baby Gender Reveal
It’s official: Underwood is feeling blue! The CMAs host is expecting a boy, co-host Paisley revealed. During a bit in their opener, Underwood whispered the sex of her first child with husband Mike Fisher. A few Swift, Ebola and Renée Zellweger jokes later, Paisley let the cat out of the bag when he suggested she name her future kid in honor of Garth Brooks.
4. Kacey’s Major – We Mean Major – Hair
Before she even took home the song of the year award, Musgraves was the talk of the CMAs. The singer’s big bump of brunette hair was a red carpet stand-out and go-to Twitter subject. Musgraves, 26, confessed the Texas-inspired ‘do was full of secrets, but wouldn’t cop to what. Whatever Musgraves was hiding, she must have shaken out a few of those enigmas during the show because she later appeared on stage with noticeably flatter locks.
5. Collaborations Ruled the Stage
Nothing against Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan’s solo numbers, but the best performances of the night came in pairs. The CMAs treated – and surprised – viewers with a trio of collaborations, starting with Meghan Trainor and Miranda Lambert.
The blonde twosome started the show with a hip-shaking rendition of Trainor’s “All About That Bass.” The song was an especially big moment for Trainor, who spent last year’s CMAs sitting in the back.
A glittery Kacey Musgraves took the stage to perform the country classic “You’re Looking at Country” on her own, but she didn’t stay solo for long. The tune’s original crooner, Loretta Lynn, soon appeared on stage in an even sparklier frock. The country queen and the genre’s new darling finished the song arm in arm.
The biggest and certainly brightest of the collaborations was Little Big Town’s glowing number with Ariana Grande. Dressed in light-up outfits and backed by an equally flashy drumline, Little Big Town started the performance with their hit “Day Drinking.” Grande then emerged to belt “Bang Bang,” backed by the band instead of the usual Jessie J and Nicki Minaj.