Brooks big winner at the CMA
Garth Brooks continued his winning streak as entertainer of the year at the 2017 Country Music Association Awards, beating out Luke Bryan and Keith Urban.
Brooks, who has won the top prize six times, also beat Chris Stapleton and Eric Church at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
“We’re a family,” he said about the country music community when accepting the honor.
Carrie Underwood broke down while singing during the “In Memoriam” section after photos of the 58 people who died at a country music festival in Las Vegas were shown. Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman quoted Maya Angelou when the foursome won vocal group of the year, while bandmate Karen Fairchild told the audience, “Kindness is an attractive quality.”
While paying tribute to Charley Pride, filmmaker Tyler Perry said now is the time we have to all “find some common ground.” And the show opened with a performance by Church, Urban, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum honoring the victims of the recent mass shootings, as well as the tens of thousands of people affected by hurricanes in recent months.
Keith Urban earned a rousing applause when he debuted a song called “Female,” which he said was inspired by the dozens of allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Harvey Weinstein.
The CMA Awards also paid tribute to some of the genre’s brightest stars who have passed away. Glen Campbell, who died in August, was honored during a touching performance of “Wichita Lineman” by Little Big Town and Jimmy Webb, who wrote the song.
Rascal Flatts and Dierks Bentley also paid homage to Troy Gentry, one-half of the popular country duo Montgomery Gentry, who died in a helicopter crash in September. Eddie Montgomery later joined in for the performance of “My Town,” as some audience members sang along with tears in their eyes.
Taylor Swift won song of the year — awarded to songwriters — for penning Little Big Town’s No. 1 hit, “Better Man.” Swift released her sixth album, “reputation,” recently.
Winners at the show included Miranda Lambert (female vocalist of the year), Brothers Osborne (vocal duo of the year) and Jon Pardi (new artist of the year). Campbell and Willie Nelson won musical event of the year for “Funny How Time Slips Away.”
Garth Brooks accepts the award for entertainer of the year at the 51st annual CMA Awards.