5 highlights from the 2017 CMA Awards


5 highlights from the 2017 CMA Awards

PlayEvan Agostini/Invision/AP

WATCH 2017 CMAs pay tribute to victims of recent tragedies

The CMA Awards, often touted as "country's biggest night," took place in Nashville Wednesday night and brought together some of the biggest stars in the genre to toast the past year in music.

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This year's show, co-hosted for the tenth year in a row by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, was full of touching moments, moving tributes, and of course, performances by stars including Eric Church, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Garth Brooks.

For those who weren't able to catch the broadcast, which was broadcast live on ABC, here are the biggest moments from the star-studded show:

1. A somber reflection on the tragedies of 2017: The 51st CMA Awards began on a serious note, with Underwood and Paisley reflecting on the storms and violent tragedies that have impacted so many across the United States this past year. Paisley dedicated the show to "all those we've lost and to all those who are still healing."

"We love you and we will never forget you," he said. Added Underwood: "Tonight we’re gonna do what families do: come together, pray together, cry together, and sing together too."

Later in the show, portraits of those who were killed last month at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas were broadcast during the "In Memoriam" segment.

"Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling," Thank you, @CarrieUnderwood, for this moving tribute to the beautiful souls we've lost this year, including the 58 victims of the #LasVegas shooting. pic.twitter.com/AsE1DxHJCI

— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 9, 2017

2. An overwhelming sense of community: At the top of the show, Eric Church sang "Amazing Grace" before countless stars joined Darius Rucker for a performance of "Hold My Hand."

That sense of community seemed to permeate the night. Little Big Home spoke of the importance of love and kindness during an acceptance speech, while Paisley remarked on the warmth of this year's show at another point during the evening. "I feel truly like there's a family in this room tonight," added Miranda Lambert as she accepted the award for female vocalist of the year. "We are bonded together, and banded together, more than we have ever been."

"Hold my hand!" #CMAawards kick off with incredible all-star performance! @CountryMusic pic.twitter.com/ZgUaQC0V3g

— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 9, 2017

3. Keith Urban debuts new song inspired by Weinstein allegations: Keith Urban debuted his new song, "Female," partly inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The song, written by Ross Copperman, Nicolle Galyon and Shane McAnally, was recorded just three weeks ago for the first time. Urban told Billboard magazine, "As a husband and a father of two young girls, it affects me in a lot of ways. And as a son — my mother is alive. It just speaks to all of the females in my life, particularly."

The song speaks to female empowerment, with lyrics such as, "When you hear somebody say somebody hits like a girl, how does that hit you? Is that such a bad thing? When you hear that song that they play saying you run the world, do you believe it? Will you live to see it?"

What a powerful performance! We just love @KeithUrban's new song #Female. #CMAawards pic.twitter.com/Ek1LG8M2gI

— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 9, 2017

4. Performances from the biggest names in country — and their pals: The show was dominated by performances by nominees — including Lambert, Chris Stapleton and Urban — but newcomers to the show took the stage, too. Niall Horan of the band One Direction joined Maren Morris for a performance of "Seeing Blind," while P!nk earned a standing ovation for "Barbies."

Loving having @Pink join us at the #CMAawards this year! pic.twitter.com/v1g8PjMRGT

— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 9, 2017

5. Moving tributes to late performers: Country stars paid homage to their late friends. Glen Campbell, who died this past August, was honored by Little Big Town and songwriter Jimmy Webb with a performance of his song "Wichita Lineman." Meanwhile, Rascal Flatts and Dierks Bentley paid tribute to Montogmery Gentry singer Troy Gentry, who was killed in a helicopter crash in September, by singing "My Town." In a moment that brought tears to some in the crowd, Gentry's bandmate Eddie Montgomery came on stage to sing along.

What a moving performance from @DierksBentley and @RascalFlatts with @LuckymanEddie honoring the life of @T_RoyMG. #CMAawards pic.twitter.com/j7EEZMDTnD

— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 9, 2017

.@LittleBigTown performs Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman" with Jimmy Webb, and can't get enough! pic.twitter.com/hzXy0tZlz3

— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 9, 2017

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