The Best Moments from the 2022 CMA Awards

From tributes to legendary artists to star-studded collaborations, take a look at some of the must-see moments of the 2022 CMA Awards in Nashville

01 of 07

A Tribute to Loretta Lynn

Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert perform onstage at The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 09, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee
Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert. Michael Loccisano/Getty

Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Reba McEntire sparkled — literally — as they paid tribute to the late Loretta Lynn, who died "peacefully in her sleep" in October at age 90.

The trio sang some of the country legend's biggest hits including "Coal Miner's Daughter," "You Ain't Woman Enough (to Take My Man)," "You're Lookin' at Country" and "Don't Come Home a-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)."

02 of 07

Wynonna Judd Presents Vocal Duo of the Year

wynonna judd presenting at the 2022 cma awards
Wynonna Judd. abc

Wynonna Judd stepped onto the stage to present the award for vocal duo of the year — an award she said she and her mother, the late Naomi Judd, won on numerous occasions themselves.

"In death there is life, and here I am," said Wynonna, referring to the sudden death of her mom and musical partner Naomi in April. "Thank you for your love and your support."

She continued, "These past six months have been a time to grieve and a time to be grateful. I am humbled and honored tonight to still have a seat at the table of country music."

03 of 07

Jo Dee Messina Joins Cole Swindell on Stage

cole swindell and jo dee messina's performance at the CMAs
Cole Swindell and Jo Dee Messina. ABC

Jo Dee Messina surprised fans when she joined Cole Swindell on stage to perform his single "She Had Me at Heads Carolina."

The performance marked the live debut of a brand-new remix of Swindell's hit song — which heavily references Messina's 1996 debut single "Heads Carolina, Tails California."

04 of 07

Lainey Wilson Wins New Artist of the Year

Lainey Wilson speaks onstage at The 56th Annual CMA Awards
Lainey Wilson. Michael Loccisano/Getty

"If you know me, you know that I am rarely speechless, and I feel pretty speechless right now," Lainey Wilson said as she hit the stage to accept the award for new artist of the year.

During her emotional speech, the singer thanked her family and hometown of Baskin, Louisiana, which has a population of 200.

She concluded, "We just gettin' started, let's go!"

Wilson later took home the award for female vocalist of the year, which she dedicated to her father, her date for the night.

05 of 07

A Rousing Jerry Lee Lewis Tribute

Black Keys and Elle King Jerry Lee Lewis tribute performance at the 2022 CMAs
Elle King and The Black Keys. ABC

Elle King was joined on stage by The Black Keys to pay tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis, who died in October.

The quartet performed his iconic song, "Great Balls of Fire," and at one point, the piano King was playing burst into flames.

When King later stood up at the keys, she showed the crowd that Lewis' nickname, "The Killer," was embroidered on her pants.

06 of 07

Alan Jackson Wins the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award

Alan Jackson lifetime achievement award at the 2022 CMAs

During Wednesday's broadcast, legendary country singer Alan Jackson accepted the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

"I've definitely lived the American dream," Jackson said while accepting his award. "And I'm still living that honky tonk dream, y'all."

In light of the occasion, country stars Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Jon Pardi and Lainey Wilson delivered a tribute performance for the 64-year-old Grammy winner.

Jackson dedicated the award to his wife, Denise, whom he called his "best friend."

07 of 07

Luke Combs Wins Entertainer of the Year

Entertainer of the Year winner Luke Combs at the 2022 CMAs

To close out the night, Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon presented the award for entertainer of the year to Luke Combs.

"I want to thank country music for making my dreams come true," Combs said while accepting the trophy before thanking his wife, Nicole, and infant son, Tex.

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