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51st annual CMA Awards

51st annual CMA Awards

The 51st Country Music Awards (CMAs) aired live last night (Nov. 8), and numerous artists who spoke or performed had passionate messages of unity and strength for their audience.

Last night (Nov. 8) at the CMAs, Garth Brooks - who recently earned his first Billboard Hot 100 hit in 10 years with "Ask Me How I Know" - was awarded the entertainer of the year award and received praise by hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, who referred to him as the "brightest start in the room".

A somber reflection on the tragedies of 2017: The 51st CMA Awards began on a serious note, with Underwood and Paisley reflecting on the storms and violent tragedies that have impacted so many across the United States this past year. Added Underwood: "Tonight we're gonna do what families do: come together, pray together, cry together, and sing together too".

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To honor the 58 people that were killed and the almost 500 injured at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on October 1, Underwood sang "Softly and Tenderly", while photos of the murdered victims were displayed onscreen. "Our music lifts people up". Following his win, Brooks took time to talk to Billboard about what it means to win this award, after decades of thriving as one of country's biggest superstars. "Miranda [Lambert] said it best, Little Big Town said it best - we're a family". The country community really is like a family, after all.

Little Big Town also won best vocal group of the year.

"Getting this presented to me by the entertainer of a lifetime, I thank you", Brooks said.


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