Well now, perhaps there is a reason for old school traditional country fans to tune into the CMA Awards in 2016. Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Country Music Association has promised to honor country music’s past in the presentation, and they have put their money where their mouth is by announcing that seven previous Entertainer of the Year winners will be performing. Announced Monday, that group includes Charley Pride, George Strait, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Alabama, and Reba McEntire.
It would be even better if even older Entertainer of the Year winners such as Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton were also part of the group, but there is a good chance those announcements might be coming, since both were featured as part of the CMA’s “Forever Country” song mashup. There are also rumors started by co-host Brad Paisley that a tribute to Randy Travis may be in store, making the prospects for the 50th Anniversary show not so bad at this point as the CMA’s labor to reach out to all country music fans instead of almost exclusively to the here-and-now superstars like in previous years.
Other previously-announced performers include the usual suspects of Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Kacey Musgraves, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, and (cough)…. Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line. So you know, there will be opportunities to use the restroom and refresh your beer as well.
Something else actual country music fans can look forward to is that Chris Stapleton is up for five awards on the night, including Entertainer of the Year. It was at last year’s CMA Awards that his incredible run began that has yet to run out of gas. Consistently outselling everyone else in album sales, there is a chance Stapleton has another big night.
The 50th Annual CMA Awards will be broadcast November 2nd on ABC. Make sure to stop by Saving Country Music for our always-snarky CMA Awards LIVE blog.