The 56th Annual CMA Awards Recap ft. Luke Combs, Lainey Wilson & More

Here is the 56th Annual CMA Awards recap featuring big wins by country superstars Luke Combs, Lainey Wilson, and more.


The 56th Annual CMA Awards took place last night (November 9th), returning to the iconic Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, this show was all about uniting fans and country artists with our favorite music genre and honoring the greats that paved the way. For a full list of all of the nominations and winners, click here.

The show began with a medley of hits, celebrating the late, great Loretta Lynn. Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Reba McEntire took to the stage delivering an incredible performance of Lynn’s classics like, “You’re Looking at Country” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Carly Pearce also honored Lynn with her incredible song, “Dear Miss Loretta,” later in the show.

Shortly after, the CMA’s hosted another incredible female-led performance of Ashley McBryde’s killer album Lindeville. Artists like John Osborne, Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, and Pillbox Patti joined her on stage.

With a quick introduction, first-time CMA awards winner for Video of the Year, Cody Johnson graced the stage next, singing an electric rendition of his hit song, “‘Til You Can’t.” Similarly, Cole Swindell took to the stage to sing his latest number-one hit, “She Had Me At Heads Carolina.” Of course, he brought out Jo Dee Messina to sing with him. Lambert also returned to sing her new song, “Geraldene” and Underwood with, “Hate My Heart.”

The star-studded event continued with a killer performance from Luke Combs. The Entertainer of the Year nominee blew fans away, singing his song, “The Kind of Love We Make.” The other Luke, Luke Bryan also performed his current single, “Country On” later on in the show. The night continued with performances by Zac Brown Band, who sang their song “Out In The Middle” and an exciting duet by Thomas Rhett and Katy Perry. The latter duo sang their new song, “Where We Started,” a country-pop medley, begging for radio play.

However, HARDY and Lainey Wilson may have given arguably one of the best performances of the night with their song “wait in the truck.” The eerie ballad came to life, as the two New Artist of the Year nominees sang their hearts out, receiving a huge applause and standing ovation from the audience. Next up, Morgan Wallen, an Entertainer of the Year nominee, also showed up to perform his hit song, “You Proof.”

The CMA Awards continued to showcase collaborations throughout the night. Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce joined Kelsea Ballerini on stage to sing “YOU’RE DRUNK, GO HOME.” The threesome brought their sassy energy and huge vocal chops to the country music stage.

Another highlight of the night is when Chris and Morgane Stapleton took the stage with none other than the iconic, Patty Loveless. An incredibly harrowing performance, the collaborators sang Loveless’ “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive,” getting each and every artist on their feet celebrating the performance with them.

Country music artists continued to celebrate the icons that came before them both in and out of the genre. Brothers Osborne took the stage with The War and Treaty to celebrate the forthcoming tribute album, Stoned Cold Country for The Rolling Stones, coming in 2023, while Elle King joined by The Black Keys and celebrated the late hall of fame, Jerry Lee Lewis.

Of course, the night would not be complete without the monumental tribute to Alan Jackson, who was the newest recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. Carrie Underwood strutted onto the stage to announce the icon, even singing a little something. Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, and Lainey Wilson shared the stage to celebrate Jackson’s career. They sang songs like, “Chattahoochee,” “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” and “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.” Jackson, himself also sang his song, “Don’t Rock The Jukebox.”

Overall the 56th CMA Awards were a great night for country music. The show came back to its roots, mixing the new country music sounds with more traditional country, proving that we can all love the genre together.

To view the full list of winners, click here.

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