44th Annual CMA Awards Live Blog!

It’s time! The 44th Annual CMA Awards are tonight, live on ABC at 8 PM Eastern/7 PM Central. Your hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are also scheduled to perform twice, once solo and once together with Keith Urban in the opening number that is rumored to involve Carrie’s song “Songs Like This” and/or a Beverly Hillbillies parody.

Also performing are Kelly Clarkson in a duet with Jason Aldean (“Don’t You Wanna Stay”), the night’s top nominee Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson, Taylor Swift, Reba, Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Gwyneth Paltrow with Vince Gill, Rascal Flatts, and George Strait. Kellie Pickler is presenting.

The red carpet has already started and you can stream it at ABC.com or UStream.

This is your live blog/discussion post. MJ will be adding pictures and video. We’ve got nominations, performance spoilers, red carpet sightings, key links, and anything else CMA related and it’s all after the jump!

  • Ty Pennington and Lee Ann Rimes present the award for Single of the Year to “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum
  • Kellie Pickler presents Song of the Year goes to “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert
  • Darius Rucker presents New Artist Of The Year to Zac Brown Band, which isn’t new at all but them’s the rules!
  • Easton Corbin, Sara Evans, and Chris Young present Vocal Group Of The Year to Lady Antebellum.
  • Little Big Town present Album Of The Year to Miranda Lambert.
  • Joanna Garcia and Jeff Gordon present Vocal Duo Of The Year to Sugarland.
  • Martina McBride presents Male Vocalist Of The Year to Blake Shelton. That’s an upset!
  • Loretta Lynn and Sissy Spacek present Female Vocalist Of The Year to Miranda Lambert.
  • Tim McGraw presents Entertainer Of The Year to Brad Paisley. Awwww he’s so emotional and gives great speech. He says he feels like a “turtle on a fencepost” because he had help getting up there. He thanks the fans with his voice cracking for their loyalty no matter who they’re fans of. Now he’s talking about his grandfather and learning to play the guitar. Aw Brad! Thanking his wife, people he works with. Then they play him off, what the heck?

Update 30: Carrie and Brad bid the audience Good Night! That’s a wrap!

Update 29: Narnia commercial with behind the scenes of Carrie singing There’s A Place For Us!

Update 28: Gwyneth Paltrow and Vince Gill come out to sing “Country Strong” from the movie of the same name. Gwyneth’s actually doing pretty well. She and Vince get a standing ovation.

Update 27: Sissy Spacek introduces Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow to sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in tribute to Loretta Lynn. Look for Loretta to join them. And she does!

Update 26: Brad Paisley’s covered by the rising fog for Dierks Bentley’s performance LOL. He plays it off and introduces Dierks Bentley performing “Up On The Ridge”.

Update 25: Carrie sings “Mama’s Song” in front of a classic movie theater background with video of Carrie and her mom playing against the screen in the background. She starts it off a cappella with songwriter Hillary Lindsey and her back up singer Jamie Fraley, it sounds awesome. Carrie’s wearing a stunning mauve dress and it’s a very emotional performance for her with her mom there. She’s got tears in her eyes. She’s really excited about them showing her mom on the jumbotron lol.

Update 24: What the….? The announcer asks “Will the award for Female Vocalist Of The Year go to Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, or Carrie Underwood?” There are 5 nominees and the 5th is Reba!

Update 23: The Band Perry performs their hit single “If I Die Young” and then announced the radio stations that won CMA awards.

Update 22: Lady Antebellum kicks off the 3rd hour of the show performing their new single “Hello World”. It’s an epic power ballad.

Update 21: Brad Paisley debuting a never before heard song called “This Is Country Music”. It will be on his new album due out next year.

Update 20: Kid Rock performing his single “Born Free” which hasn’t done much on country radio but I guess he’s still trying.

Update 19: Kelly and Jason sound great! Kelly looks gorgeous – love the upswept hairdo, and she’s wearing a beautiful royal blue velvet dress with a sheer black bolero. They get a standing ovation! Jennifer Nettles mouths “So great!” Then Little Big Town does some BRILLIANT harmony on Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”. They sound this amazing on their own songs too, and they’ve got lots of great ones.

Update 18: Haha. Carrie does an identity theft gag. Jeff Gordon plays Brad Paisley. Carrie introduces Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson!! Except Brad didn’t quite get around to saying her name ;)

Update 17: Keith Urban performs his single “Put You In A Song”. Carrie introduces Reba performing her cover of the Beyonce song “If I Were A Boy”. Jason and Kelly are up next!

Update 16: Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean should be coming up soon!

Update 15: Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl introduces Taylor Swift singing her new single “Back To December”. This is the one about Taylor Lautner and how Swift’s sorry for how she treated him. Hey she doesn’t sound that out of tune! Smart choice singing a song with a 5 note range and not many instruments to sing over. Unfortunate shot of her saying “What!” to somebody offstage. Oh well, it’s definitely better than usual for Taylor. Now Carrie introduces Sugarland for their country-reggae song (yes you read right!) “Stuck Like Glue”. The video’s on VH1 now and it’s hilarious, I’d highly recommend it. Jennifer Nettles starts out singing it like one of those stationary windup ballerinas. Ha. Good performance and the audience loves it.

Update 14: By the way, follow David Wild. He’s a CMA writer and he’s giving backstage updates like this one

Just spoke to Brad and Carrie. They’re having a blast, and say hello. Please keep watching there’s fun planned all night long.

Update 13: Carrie introduces Kenny Chesney for a performance of his #1 hit “Boys Of Fall”.

Update 12: Zac Brown Band performing the current #1 country single with Alan Jackson: “As She’s Walking Away”. Good tune.

Update 11: Hey! It’s Carrie’s Olay commercial. Slightly different than the online version because “tonight is definitely a glam night”.

Update 10: Carrie introduces her buddy Miranda Lambert who rocks out her cover of John Prine’s “That’s The Way The World Goes Round”. She’s a little buried in the sound mix but it’s a fun performance. Haha at her fiance Blake Shelton calling her crazy after her performance. Carrie and Brad then bring on Little Jimmy Dickens in snorkeling gear as the new flood warning system for Nashville. OK then! They introduce George Strait, who has won more CMA Awards than anyone even though Brad tries to take credit for that lol. King George is performing “The Breath You Take”.

Update 9: After Rascal Flatts performs their new single “Why Wait” we’re back to Brad & Carrie. It’s Carrie and Mike’s 4 month anniversary! Carrie and Brad are singing a little duet dedicated to their engaged friends Blake and Miranda. Parody about the size of Miranda’s ring. “That’s what she said.” Thank you Brad. Blake Shelton performing his #1 hit “All About Tonight”.

    UPDATE 8: Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban open the CMAs with Songs Like This! Awesome. Keith is playing banjo.  After the opening number, Brad and Carrie sing a “Beverly Hillbillies” parody. We’ve got BP, Brett Favre, and Tiger Woods references. Here come the jokes: “Can you get me Coldplay tickets”  Carrie Underwood: “Don’t be rude…Can you get me 4?” Brad sings Gaga! Awesome!

    UPDATE 7: Tune in online NOW for the prebroadcast CMAs announced by Rodney Atkins. Mac Macanally wins Musician Of The Year. Video Of The Year goes to “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert. She’ll be sweeping tonight. Trey Fanjoy directed it. Musical Event Of The Year goes to “Hillbilly Bone” by Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins.

    UPDATE 6 Janine Rhodes tweets

    Also! Watch the CMAs tonight. Tune in for one of a kind Randi Rahm on Carrie Underwood. The reason I was @ wrk until 1230 am on Friday

    UPDATE 5: Jason Aldean confirmed in a red carpet interview that the 2nd single off his album WILL be the duet with Kelly “Don’t You Wanna Stay, ” as MJ reported.

    UPDATE 4 Fox News Radio reports:

    CMA Co-host Carrie Underwood hit the red carpet in a blue ruffled and layered gown, taking time to hug pal Kellie Pickler.

    Pictures posted!

    UPDATE 3 Kellie Pickler is in a gold sequined gown according to AP Country.

    UPDATE 2 Bo Bice sighting on the red carpet!

    UPDATE 1 We have a Carrie sighting. CMT reports that Carrie is wearing a “black, frilly dress” and they don’t know how she’ll sit in it. Good thing she’ll be changing out of that one pretty quick!
    Credit underwood9098 for the screenshot. Carrie’s dress is reportedly Talbot Runhof.

    Carrie is nominated for Album of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, but expect Miranda Lambert to win both of those and have a very good night tonight along with Lady Antebellum. Hey, at least Carrie gets to perform twice and change outfits even more as cohost!

    UPDATE: OMG Carrie’s red carpet dress is epic! Haha, screenshot after the jump. Bo Bice is also on the red carpet. So is Kellie Pickler. MJ‘s adding pics as we speak! Now including GORGEOUS pictures of Carrie and Kellie together! Also including news from Jason Aldean about the 2nd single off his new album (hint: it features an Idol). The show’s started – check out our live blog after the jump!

    About Deb B 432 Articles
    Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.