The Country Music Association's "Forever Country" all-star song and video, released in September, set the theme for this year's 50th CMA Awards. The project – made up of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads," Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" and Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," and featuring artists from Dolly Parton and Darius Rucker to Brad Paisley and Kacey Musgraves – was a major success with fans, who helped the video hit nearly 9 million views on YouTube.
It also had artists on the CMA red carpet explaining what "forever country" means to them. We chatted with Dwight Yoakam, Jon Pardi, Chris Janson and even Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, who attended this year's show with his country-singer daughter Electra Mustaine.
Says Eric Paslay, "I think country music represents the soul of the human."
Here's how the rest all defined country music.