Tonight will mark the Country Music Association Awards with an exciting array of performers. Nominees include first-timers Jelly Roll and HARDY, Morgan Wallen and Post Malone from Morgan Wallen Group as well as Old Dominion and Carly Pearce who all made debut nominations this year.
Robin Roberts engages with Dolly Parton like never before for this hourlong special. She speaks candidly about her new rock album, her favorite country songs and more in this captivating conversation.
Tonight is the 57th Annual Country Music Association Awards and it promises all of the drama, glitz and glamour you would expect from country’s premier night. Hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena and broadcast live by ABC; viewers can stream it via Hulu starting Thursday as well. Among this year’s many memorable moments was Carrie Underwood joining Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Elle King to pay their respects to Loretta Lynn through an all-star tribute featuring Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band Alan Jackson Mac McAnally among many more performances that night – some highlights were Carrie Underwood joining Carrie Underwood Miranda Lambert Reba McEntire joined forces to pay tribute Loretta Lynn before her passing and also an all-star salute to Jerry Lee Lewis featuring Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band Alan Jackson Mac McAnally all stars performing their tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis which included Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band Alan Jackson Mac McAnally among many other performers including Kenny Chesney Kenny Chesney Kenny Chesney Kenny Chesney Kenny Chesney Zac Brown Band Alan Jackson Mac McAnally along with Kenny Chesney Kenny Chesney all star salute featuring Kenny Chesney Kenny Chesney Kenny Chesney Kennanally all-star Kennanally to perform an all star tribute performed an all Star salute Lewis among others alongside Kenn Jackson MacAnally among others as Kennantly Jackson McAl Jackson Mac McAnally along with Zac Brown Band Kennand Mac McAlan Jackson with Zac Brown Band Kennney Chesney Zac Brown Band Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson McAlan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Mac McAnally MacAnally Chesney; Zac Brown Band Zac Brown Band Zac Brown Band Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Mac McAnally among Mac McAnally Mac McAnally Mac McAnally Mac Mac McAnally Mac McAnally Mac McAlan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Mac McAnally Mac McAnally then Mac McAnally Mac McAnally who all plus Mac McAnally all stood all MacManally + Mac McAnally McAnally Mac McAnally then Alan Jackson Mac McAnally Mac McAnally Mac Mcanally plus Mac McAnally Jackson Mc Anally Jackson Alan Jackson Alan Jackson Mac McAnally + Mac Mcanally Mc s and Mcanally + Mac McAnally Mac Mcanally was all-star salute Mac Mcanally also McAnnally then Mac McAanally Mac Mcanally Mcanally then Mac Mcanally Mac Mcanally McAnnally McAnally then Mac Mcanally McAnally Mac Mcanally Mcan
Luke Combs won Entertainer of the Year this year, besting last year’s winner Blake Shelton; Lainey Wilson took home Female Vocalist honors as a first-time nominee; when accepting her award she exclaimed “it feels like country music finally loves me back”. Other winners included Luke Combs with Album of the Year for Growin’ Up; Little Big Town won Vocal Group of the Year while Brothers Osborne claimed Musical Event of the Year with their cover of Rolling Stones classic “No Cover” cover!
Country purists frequently complain about the Country Music Awards pandering to pop country, yet this year’s show appeared to achieve the balance between old and new country. Perhaps most impressively was Chris Stapleton joining Patty Loveless for “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive,” an emotive coal mining ballad which provided an exciting reminder of just how much country has been revived through artists like Stapleton, Childers and Sturgill.
Highlights from the night included Little Big Town’s performance of their hit single from their latest album The Greatest Showman and Carrie Underwood and Kelsea Ballerini dueting for Vocal Duo of the Year, both nominated by Billboard Magazine. Jordan Davis, HARDY, Jelly Roll, Cody Johnson and Ashley McBryde also performed alongside some surprises such as Post Malone who joined Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band’s longtime guitarist Mac McAnally in an all-star tribute to Jimmy Buffett along with Kenny Chesney.
Nashville is often associated with country music, where some of the biggest names have recently performed. Fans filled Music City Center to witness their favorites on multiple stages while many more tuned in later for a three-hour telecast that later airs on ABC.
CMA Fest this year also marked the debut of an exclusive documentary chronicling its 50-year history, including exclusive artist interviews and previously unseen archival footage. ABC will air it tonight at 9 ET/8 CT.
This documentary offers a look into the evolving landscape of country music. It discusses its rapid turnover rate of headliners; some believe this makes the genre too “fast-paced”, but others consider the transition essential in keeping its genre fresh.
Documentaries on country music also explore gender inequality. While more women than ever before are present today, their numbers still disproportionately lag behind that of men in country music. While more female talent is being discovered by the industry overall, many still find it hard to break through its glass ceiling.
Although some country stars have achieved fame and become household names, many others have made their way from grassroots levels up. The documentary highlights several such artists – Jelly Roll and Tanya Tucker are two such examples – who are making waves.
Beyond its main concerts, CMA Fest also featured unforgettable moments throughout its four-day run. Jason Aldean combined rock and country influences when he brought Lenny Kravitz out for a duet performance of their song “American Woman,” at Nissan Stadium. Other standout moments from CMA Fest included Carly Pearce’s soulful Grand Ole Opry stage performance as well as Tim McGraw joining students from Metro Nashville Public Schools for an unforgettably moving duet performance.
One of the most striking elements of this year’s CMA event was its emphasis on diversity and inclusion. To this end, they created the iHeartRadio Fan Fair X: an expansive indoor area showcasing country music artists while providing educational content – including an on-air radio interview session between fans and their favorite artist(s). Other highlights of the Xfinity Fan Fair X included Music Streaming Lounge which provided fans with information about various music streaming platforms; as well as an iHeartRadio Charities Lounge that raised funds for local charities.
Billboard Country Songs Chart
Country music has had an outstanding 2023 on the Billboard charts. Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs, two acts who are newer to country airplay charts, are leading with top positions with their first singles to reach this status in their careers. Additionally, Maren Morris and Gabby Barrett have seen their profiles rise quickly up the charts.
Wallen is a young singer from East Tennessee with an affinity for country music who speaks about lost love. His success can be attributed to a wide appeal for country across demographics; his songs feature more twang than Oliver Anthony or Jason Aldean and do not invoke politics as often in their music – although some might find this surprising; country is not well-known among young people as having conservative leanings like other forms of genre such as rock or even classical. Additionally, Oliver Anthony (whose song “Rich Men North of Richmond” reached number one) has won him many fans from right-wing podcasters and celebrity evangelicals while Wallen draws more from Post Malone than Aldean when it comes to country.
Luke Combs is riding the wave of country music’s mainstream success with “Fast Car”. This cover of Tracy Chapman’s 1989 hit is currently America’s number two track on the Hot 100 and one of the most-heard country tracks across platforms – an astounding accomplishment and proof that country has managed to bridge four decades of pop influence while remaining true to its genre roots.
Although not widely considered, the Billboard Country Songs chart can provide a good indicator of public listening habits and artist trends. The chart is created using Nielsen Music and Mediabase data that tracks total points and spins at country radio stations in small markets around the US; its top spot is awarded to the song with most points and spins; songs not receiving new bulletins after three weeks may be removed from charts; however some country songs have experienced long reigns at the top, such as Chet Atkins’ “Walk On By”, which spent 28 consecutive weeks on top in 1959!
New Country Artists
At a time when country music appears to be grappling with its identity amid cultural change, new artists are helping the genre make strides forward. Their ability to combine girl group sass with the honky tonk swagger of 70s outlaw country demonstrates just that these fresh voices can hit the open road. From Texas singers with gospel influences adding something fresh to country, to an artist whose single is an energetic roadtrip down memory lane; these newcomers demonstrate why country remains alive and well today.
Kelsea Ballerini has emerged as one of country music’s hottest young female stars. Ashley McBryde counts Eric Church among her fans; Callie Twisselman draws you in with her honest country-pop voice; she’s the real deal and an expert storyteller who understands how to reconcile modernity and ancient traditions.
Jackson Dean boasts a powerful yet adaptable voice, perfectly capable of performing both ballads and country-rock songs with equal aplomb. With his debut LP ‘Dallas/Fort Worth,’ Jackson Dean looks poised to continue lighting up country tracks into 2023.
Corey Kent is another country singer bringing rock influences into the genre. Not shy to switch it up with heavy metal-influenced anthems like ‘How You Know You Made It,’ Corey is as comfortable with playing traditional country ballads or creating heavy metal covers as he is with rocking out to modern metal hits – and ready to show that country music still has much to offer all generations of music fans! Hailing from Tennessee with roots dating back generations ago.
Finally, black country artists are providing the genre with fresh perspectives. These talented up-and-coming musicians remind listeners that country remains an inclusive genre that embraces diverse styles from Irish fiddles to African banjos. Although their lyrics may touch upon topics like pervasive injustice, universal heartache or simply having a beer with friends, their lyrics remain true to country tradition with honest vocals sure to resonate with fans.