In a night of excitement and surprise, the virtual press room backstage at the 55th CMA Awards Wednesday night in Nashville was surprisingly quiet – perhaps because the majority of the winners were utterly stunned.
Hatch combs went back just moments after picking up his first – and perhaps already overdue – trophy for Entertainer of the Year. Known for showering gifts on his parents and for both helping and praising unsung singers and songwriters, he vowed to stay true to his North Carolina roots as the most prestigious cloak in country music falls on him. His label’s president, Sony Nashville, even paused one of his replies to give him a hug and a hug.
Quadruple winner Chris Stapleton – never famous for his gift for Gab – stayed the longest and realized how important his wife was Morgane Part of his success was when she intervened at one point to wipe the sweat from her face. The five-time male singer of the year confirmed that he prides himself on maintaining that standard, while also being taciturn about his upcoming collaborations with both Adele and Taylor Swift.
Despite still being in shock, she is the singer’s first time winner Carly Pearce managed to be a little more composed than she’d been on stage at Music City’s Bridgestone Arena, admitting a long line of strong women from her native Kentucky paved the way for her childhood dream of country music sing, pursue and also navigate way out of a very public and painful divorce.
Singing duo Osborne brothers concluded the night and marked a major milestone for country music since TJ and John won back the category they had previously won three times after a year in which TJ took the unprecedented step of coming out as a gay man.
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