Last night’s CMA Awards show was an entertaining affair, from Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley’s opening, jokey monologue to Taylor Swift’s show-closing Entertainer of the Year win — her second. Highlights included a stirring tribute to Glen Campbell, who recently announced his retirement due to the onset of Alzheimer’s — deftly handled by Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Vince Gill — and Martina McBride’s powerful performance of “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.”
The evening’s surprise guest was Lionel Richie, who dueted with both Darius Rucker and Gary Levox of Rascal Flatts (Richie has a country album due soon). Grand Ole Opry mainstay Little Jimmy Dickens, now 90, took the stage dressed as Justin Bieber. And actor Eric Stonestreet, who portrays a gay father on Modern Family, showed up to harmonize with Paisley and Underwood, showing just how progressive a Country Music Awards show could be.
The big winners were sibling act The Band Perry, who won in the top Song, Single, and New Artist categories.
Here’s the full list of winners:
Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift
Single: “If I Die Young,” The Band Perry
Album: “My Kinda Party,” Jason Aldean
Song: “If I Die Young,” Kimberly Perry
Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton
Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum
Vocal Duo: Sugarland
Musical Event: “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson
Musician: Mac McAnally
Music Video: “You and Tequila,” Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter directed by Shaun Silva
New Artist: The Band Perry