Kentucky stars shined bright on CMA Awards

Chris Stapleton at CMA Awards.
Photo by Erika Goldring/FilmMagic
If you noticed carefully throughout the night, several Kentucky country music stars were featured on the CMA Award 50th anniversary broadcast.  Here are a few of those highlights:
Keith Whitley Remembered Twice

During Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood’s melody of hits, they performed Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes.”  Then when Alan Jackson sang “Remember When” and George Strait sang “Troubadour,” a photo of Keith Whitley was shown in the background as to honor the legends.


Trisha Yearwood pays tribute to Crystal Gayle & Loretta Lynn

Trisha Yearwood performed “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” as Crystal Gayle looked on in the audience beside her sister Loretta Lynn.  Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks also sang “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” in tribute to Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty.


Bill Monroe and Keith Whitley Memoralized

During Alan Jackson and George Strait’s duet, you will see photos on the wall in the background that included Bill Monroe and Keith Whitley among those that helped build the foundation of country music.


Ricky Skaggs & Dwight Yoakam Pickin’ and Grinnin’ in Opener

During the CMA Award show opener, Ricky Skaggs and Brad Paisley picked their way through “Country Boy,” complete with fast guitar picking skills.  We also got to see Dwight Yoakam singing “Guitars, Cadillacs” during the opener.

Ricky Skaggs, Brad Paisley, and Charlie Daniels at the CMA Awards. Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images.
Roy Clark looks on as Dwight Yoakam sings “Guitars, Cadillacs” at the CMA Awards.
Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Dwight Yoakam and Chris Stapleton singing “Seven Spanish Angels”

Here is some six degrees of Kentucky: Pikeville native Dwight Yoakam performed with Paintsville native Chris Stapleton on the hit tune, “Seven Spanish Angels.”  That song was made famous with the performance by Ray Charles and Willie Nelson.  Willie Nelson leased part of Renfro Valley Entertainment Center back in the day, but has never played there.  One of the co-writers of that song, Eddie Setser, is from Corbin, Kentucky, which is home of the original KFC.

Chris Stapleton Takes Home 2 Awards

A humbled Chris Stapleton took home the award for Best Male Vocalist, along with Best Video for the powerful tune “Fire Away.”


Darrell Scott is Long Time Gone

Laurel County native, Darrell Scott, has made a living on songwriting and performing.  He wrote “Long Time Gone” that the Dixie Chicks sang last night alongside Beyonce at the CMA Awards.  Ironically the tune is about the dismay of country music with the lyrics, “Now they sound tired but they don’t sound Haggard / They got money but they don’t have Cash / They got Junior but they don’t have Hank…”


Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle in the audience

Believe me when I say this, it was just a disgrace that Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle were only given a few seconds of screentime rather than have them up on stage performing showing how it is done.


What were some of your favorite moments of the awards? Did your favorite win?