With Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood keeping a light-hearted and brisk pace at the 2011 CMA Awards, country’s brightest stars were honored Wednesday night in Nashville.
Taylor Swift was the big winner, taking home the coveted Entertainer of the Year honor, but many other artists took home hardware, such as Lady Antebellum (Vocal Group), Jason Aldean (Album of the Year, My Kinda Party) and the Band Perry (Single of the Year, “If I Die Young”).
Paisley and Underwood brought the comedy, especially with an opening number in which they rewrote the lyrics of Hank Williams Jr’s Monday Night Football hit “All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight.”
Williams recently made controversial comments in which he seemed to compare President Obama to Hitler, and Bocephus even appeared at the end to poke fun at the situation.
With so much talent in the audience, there was no doubt that the live performances would be special, as well.
The most memorable might be a teaming of Vince Gill, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley that honored country legend Glen Campbell, who is battling Alzheimer’s disease.
The television broadcast hit the right marks, as it found Campbell in the audience singing along with his classic songs, and Campbell was even brought on stage to a rousing ovation.
Faith Hill debuted a new single, “Coming Home,” and made a stunning return to the stage clad in all black. Hill’s backing band even featured a Fender FM-63S mandolin.
Rascall Flatts brought British singer Natasha Bedingfield out to handle the female role in their single, “Easy.”
Paisley unholstered his Fender Telecaster to add a screaming guitar solo on his recent hit with Underwood, “Remind Me.”
And Urban ran with his Tele through the audience for “You Gonna Fly,” a track that brought the entire crowd to its feet.
Here is a list of all 2011 CMA Award winners:
Entertainer of the Year – Taylor Swift
Female Vocalist of the Year – Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist of the Year – Blake Shelton
New Artist of the Year – The Band Perry
Vocal Group of the Year – Lady Antebellum
Single of the Year “If I Die Young,” The Band Perry
Album of the Year – My Kinda Party, Jason Aldean
Song of the Year – “If I Die Young,” The Band Perry
Vocal Duo of the Year – Sugarland
Musical Event of the Year – “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” Jason Aldean w/Kelly Clarkson
Music Video of the Year – “You and Tequila,” Kenny Chesney w/Grace Potter
Musician of the Year – Mac McAnally