Garth Brooks named Entertainer of the Year at 2016 CMA Awards
Chris Stapleton was a double winner as Beyonce wowed with the Dixie Chicks.
Garth Brooks reclaimed his crown as the king of country music on Wednesday night (02Nov16) after picking up the coveted Entertainer of the Year prize at the CMA Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.
The veteran's big win prevented Luke Bryan from claiming the trophy for a third successive year.
It was also a big night for double winner Chris Stapleton, who was named Male Vocalist of the Year, and the ceremony's co-host Carrie Underwood, who took home the Best Female Vocalist of the Year award.
And there were also tributes to Kenny Chesney and Dolly Parton, who picked up the Pinnacle Award and Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, respectively.
The big event kicked off with a salute to 50 years of country classics, performed by the likes of Vince Gill, co-host Brad Paisley, Charley Pride, Reba McEntire and Underwood, who belted out her rendition of Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man.
Dwight Yoakam, Alabama, Alan Jackson, and Charlie Daniels were also part of the 50th anniversary hits retrospective, which closed with Randy Travis taking the stage for his first major appearance since suffering a stroke in 2013. All the hitmakers joined him for an emotional performance of his hit Forever and Ever, Amen.
Other performance highlights included the reunited Brooks & Dunn's collaboration with Jason Aldean, and singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini wowed the crowd at the Bridgestone Arena with her hit Peter Pan. Meanwhile, Entertainer of the Year winner Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood recalled some of the genre's most famous duets, beginning with Johnny and June Carter Cash's Jackson and including Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty's Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man, and George Jones and Tammy Wynette's Golden Ring.
Other highlights included Elle King and Dierks Bentley's performance of their Musical Event of the Year-winning tune Different For Girls, and Little Big Town's live debut of their Taylor Swift-penned song Better Man.
But Beyonce stole the show as she performed her country-themed tune Daddy Lessons with the Dixie Chicks.
The R&B superstar's appearance was rumoured earlier in the day and confirmed via tweet by Paisley, but the Dixie Chicks were a big surprise. The trio has been performing a cover of Beyonce's track live.
The full list of 2016 CMA Awards winners is:
Entertainer of the Year
Album of the Year
Mr. Misunderstood - Eric Church
Single of the Year
Die a Happy Man - Thomas Rhett
Song of the Year
Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw
Male Vocalist of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
New Artist of the Year
Vocal Duo of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year
Little Big Town
Music Video of the Year
Fire Away - Chris Stapleton
Musical Event of the Year
Different For Girls - Dierks Bentley featuring Elle King
Musician of the Year
Dann Huff (Guitar)
Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award
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