George Jones

New Performers Announced For The 47th Annual CMA Awards

The star-studded lineup for “Country Music’s Biggest Night™” continues to grow with today’s announcement of performers for “The 47th Annual CMA Awards.”

Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, and Carrie Underwood are scheduled to perform. Alan Jackson and George Strait, the two top nominees in CMA Awards history, will perform together in a tribute to the legendary George Jones, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992 and remains one of the most recognizable and evocative voices in the history of the genre. Jones passed away in April of this year.

Paisley and Underwood will host the ceremony for the sixth consecutive year live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 (8:00-11:00 PM/EST) on the ABC Television Network.

Reigning CMA Album of the Year winner, Church, is nominated this year for Male Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for “The Only Way I Know,” with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. Church is an eight-time CMA Awards nominee who earned his first nomination in 2011 for New Artist of the Year.

One of this year’s most nominated artists, newcomers and first-time nominees Florida Georgia Line, earned nods for New Artist and Vocal Duo of the Year, as well as Single of the Year for “Cruise” and Musical Event of the Year for the song’s remix with Nelly.

Jackson is the second most nominated artist in CMA history, with 81 nominations and 16 trophies. He is a three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year and two-time CMA Male Vocalist of the Year. Jackson earned his first CMA Awards nominations in 1990 when he was up for New Artist, Album of the Year for Here In The Real World, and Single and Song of the Year for the album’s title track.

Musgraves – who is also a first-time nominee – is tied as the year’s most nominated artist. She collected six nominations including Female Vocalist, New Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for Same Trailer Different Park, Single and Song of the Year for “Merry Go ‘Round,” and Song of the Year for Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart.”

Paisley is among the top CMA Award winners of all time, with 14 trophies. He is a former CMA Entertainer of the Year and three-time CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, with multiple wins in the Music Video and Musical Event of the Year categories. Paisley’s first CMA Award came in 2000 when he won the Horizon Award, now known as New Artist of the Year.

Strait is not only the top CMA Award nominee of all time, but also the top CMA Award winner with 22 trophies and 82 nominations. He is nominated this year for Entertainer of the Year, an honor he has taken home twice before. Strait is a five-time CMA Male Vocalist and Album of the Year winner.

Three-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Underwood, is again nominated in that category, as well as for Album of the Year for Blown Away, and Music Video of the Year for the album’s title track. Underwood is a five-time CMA Award winner with 18 career CMA Awards nominations.

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Country Music Stars Attend George Jones’ Funeral

Singers Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Kid Rock honored the memory of country legend George Jones on Thursday by gathering to perform at the late star’s funeral in Nashville, Tennessee.

The doors of The Grand Ole Opry House were thrown open for family, friends and fans to mourn the loss of the icon together during an emotional three-hour service at the country music mecca, and the auditorium was filled with the sound of music.

Jones’ widow Nancy sat with former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush and singing couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood as pals stepped up to the podium, with Tanya Tucker and the Imperials kicking off the performances with a cover of gospel classic, The Old Rugged Cross.

Randy Travis paid tribute to his old collaborator with a rendition of Amazing Grace, accompanied by just an acoustic guitar. Explaining his choice of track, he said, “When I heard him do this song, it literally gave me chills.”

Paisley revealed he had bonded with Jones after the veteran allowed him to keep his first horse on his family’s farm, while Daniels delivered a moving speech about his longtime pal’s ability to make music for all kinds of audiences: “He sang for us all, the non-stop partiers, the guys who are alone and the girl done wrong, the puppy lovers, the extrovert, the introvert and the guy at the end of the bar who never seems to go home… George had a song for everybody.”

Gill shared his memories of Jones, the man who gave him the nickname Sweet Pea, and confessed that he wasn’t initially a fan of the moniker – although he has since learned to love it. He said, “The great thing is, every time someone calls me Sweet Pea, I’ll get to think about him.”

Kid Rock injected a little humour into the memorial as he took the microphone to belt out the original tune Best of Me, asking Nancy to imagine that her late husband was actually the one singing, before quipping, “I know that’s a huge (leap of) imagination. Unshaven, long-haired confused country hip-hop rock ‘n’ roller trying to sing George Jones.”

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee also spoke at the funeral, as did Wynonna Judd, Laura Bush, and Alan Jackson – who postponed two concerts to attend the memorial. He closed the service with Jones’ most famous song, He Stopped Loving Her Today.

Jones, 81, passed away on April 26.