Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley CMA Awards Video 2016: Watch CMAs Opening!
The 50th annual Country Music Association Awards, taking place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, began with pre-taped clips showing memorable CMAs acceptance speeches from past decades, before Vince Gill gave a live performance with help from the son of Merle Haggard. That gave way to Paisley performing with Buck Owens, before Underwood sang a bit of “Stand By Your Man.”
They were followed by brief performances from Charley Pride, Alabama, Charlie Daniels, Reba McEntire, Dwight Yokam, Clint Black, Ricky Skaggs, and Alan Jackson. Randy Travis, who is still recovering from a stroke, came out to join the star-studded group as they sang his “Forever and Ever, Amen,” with the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame doing the final line.
Paisley and Underwood then segued into their traditional opening, singing a self-penned ditty about being sick of the election and pleading, “Make it end!” After pointing out that all the biggest country artists were in attendance, the pair joked that Billy Ray Cyrus is locked away as their “designated survivor.” But as Underwood gave shout-outs to the stars, Paisley stalked Underwood on stage, a la Donald Trump, shouting “wrong” and “crooked Carrie.”
He went on to say “#ImWithHer” and called Underwood a “nasty woman,” and even said the CMAs were “rigged.” Asked by Underwood if he’d accept the results of the night, Paisley said he would… “if I win.” (He’s not nominated.) Underwood then revealed everyone would go home with a “basket of deplorables.” There was also a WikiLeaks joke, a nod to Dolly Parton’s bosom, and Paisley acting like he’s the Brad who recently split from Angelina Jolie. Quips followed about Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and there was even a cameo from Peyton Manning.
This is Underwood and Paisley’s ninth year in a row hosting the CMAs. The two first debuted as co-hosts in 2008, and are approaching a record set by Vince Gill, who emceed the event from 1992 to 2003. In addition to hosting, both Underwood and Paisley will also take the stage tonight as performers. Underwood was also nominated for four awards at the milestone ceremony, including Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year. Check out videos of the 2016 CMA Awards opening below!