Country Music Is All-In as Nashville Predators Aim for Stanley Cup Championship
Everyone loves a winner. And with the Nashville Predators taking the last two games against the defending champs the Pittsburgh Penguins to put the series at 2-2 going into Thursday night's (June 8) pivotal Stanley Cup game 5, the city's music stars keep lining up in droves behind their hometown hockey team.
Their #1 fan is, of course, country icon Carrie Underwood, who has flown her Preds flag loud and proud all season as she supports hubby and Predators team captain Mike Fisher, the pride of Smashville.
"This community is just absolutely electric right now with energy for this team," Margaret Comeaux, the executive producer of the CMT Music Awards, told Billboard.
She should know, because for the first time ever on Wednesday night, the show had to move from its home at the Bridgestone Arena due to the team's hot run in the finals. "We've gone through fire drills in the past couple years because the Predators have been growing in strength, and it's something we've always watched carefully and had a backup plan we were ready to execute and we were happy to do it. For us, this is our home, and putting the show together is about music and current events, and it all collided last night in our city, so we had to tell that story."
Comeaux said telling that story included Lauren Alaina participating in a skit with Predators mascot Gnash during the show, as well as the mascot showing up on the red carpet and hanging around backstage to jump out and surprise some of the winners and presenters all night. And, in an unscripted moment that surprised and delighted Comeaux, presenter Ashton Kutcher brought out a giant catfish and dropped it on the stage, mimicking a tradition at games of tossing the fish onto the ice.
"Nobody wishes them more success than we do, and when we woke up this morning, we all put on our Preds T-shirts and we're ready to scream our heads off tonight," said Comeaux, who noted that there are Predators blue and gold balloons everywhere you go in the CMT offices in Nashville.
And Underwood, who sang the national anthem before game 3, has basically given over her Instagram feed to supporting the team's finals effort lately, but she's not alone. Check out other country stars who've gotten behind the Preds.
Fan since day 1, singing the National Anthem right now! I LOVE this woman!!!! love, g pic.twitter.com/mLYjz0yTXe— Garth Brooks (@garthbrooks) May 23, 2017
Thomas Rhett Atkins and Luke Bryan