Here Are the 10 Best & Worst Moments of the 2016 CMA Awards

Erika Goldring/FilmMagic
Kacey Musgraves, Reba McEntire and Jennifer Nettles perform for Dolly Parton onstage at the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.  

That's a wrap on the 2016 Country Music Association Awards. The always star-studded CMAs brought out the genre's biggest names, especially so on the night that Nashville's Bridgestone Arena was filled with CMA winners from the past 50 years.

And while a room chock-full of country stars doesn't seem like one that would result in some ridiculous moments, but like any awards show, of course, the CMAs resulted in a little bit of ludicrosity (hello, Billy Ray Cyrus?). Here's what turned out to be the best and worst moments of country's biggest night.


Brad’s shots at Donald Trump

Before the election jokes got a little old, Brad Paisley filled part of his first exchange with co-host Carrie Underwood with classic Trump remarks like "This show is rigged,” "Only if I win” and "You’re a nasty woman.” It was a rather sly way to poke fun at the presidential candidate’s controversial ways.

Peyton Manning’s cameo

As Underwood and Paisley scanned the crowd during their opening monologue, they began singing words to the tune of the Nationwide Insurance jingle only to point out spokesman Peyton Manning in the audience. And when the hosts asked if the retired NFL quarterback’s favorite country singer was one of them, he replied (still in the Nationwide melody, of course): "No it’s not, it’s Kenny Chesney.” Classic.

Matthew McConaughey bringing back ‘alright alright alright’

Another notable cameo occurred during the introduction of Tim McGraw’s "Humble and Kind” performance, in which McConaughey unsurprisingly brought out his star-making Dazed & Confused line. Again, classic. 

Brothers Osborne’s ‘I can’t believe this’ acceptance speech

When the real-life bros of Brothers Osborne were announced as the vocal duo of the year (an award they lost to fellow 2016 nominees Florida Georgia Line in 2015), they couldn’t believe they had actually won -- and their “oh my God”-filled acceptance speech showed that in the most genuine way possible. But John Osborne ending it with a massive "WOOOO!” was the kicker.

The Dixie Chicks show up for Bey’s performance

OK, obviously everyone was thrilled over the surprise news of Beyonce performing at the CMAs (especially the superstars in attendance), but the fact that it became a duet with her and the Dixie Chicks -- who covered “Daddy Issues” on their own tour -- was everything. Oh, and they broke into the Dixie Chicks jam “Long Time Gone” during the bridge, as if the moment weren’t flawless enough already. She owned the VMAs, so why not do the same at the CMAs, right?

Reba McEntire’s starstruck flub during her part of the Dolly Parton tribute

In the middle of singing “9 to 5,” Reba caught the eye of the woman of the hour and couldn’t quite keep it together. "I saw Dolly and I got messed up.” Oh, Reba.


The election song

The show was extremely front-loaded with election jokes, but perhaps the worst one was the first. Underwood and Paisley sang a song about this year’s never-ending election, singing “The election is taking forever and ever” so much that you’d think there’s a hilarious end to it. Nope, just “make it end."

Trying to make the “Mrs. Yearwood” thing happen

When Underwood first made the joke when pointing out country power couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood in the crowd, it was cutely funny... even though the look on Yearwood’s face read, “I’ve never heard that joke before.” But with another attempt from Paisley later on, the joke felt as overdone as Yearwood’s expression insinuated.

Billy Ray Cyrus "in the basement"

Making a rather past-due appearance in Underwood and Paisley’s opener (it’s been how long since “Achy Breaky Heart” was a thing?), Cyrus pretended to be in a basement that was seemingly plugging his low-life show Still The King (as well as the awards show network ABC's own Designated Survivor). Luckily, he only made two appearances, but it was still too much for anyone’s enjoyment.

That awkward moment during the female vocalist of the year announcement

As Vince Gill was naming the nominees for the coveted award, the camera cut to Kelsea Ballerini apparently a little too early, because even she didn’t know what to do for the ridiculously long amount of time the camera spent on her face, as her song “Peter Pan" played in the background. The same awkwardness occurred as Miranda Lambert was called, but luckily the glitch was fixed before more could ensue.