Best Surprise Hag Tributes: Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan
The spirit of Merle Haggard was everywhere during All for the Hall, from Keith Urban's t-shirt to the closing ensemble version of "Mama Tried." But two of the most surprising tributes came from polarizing country figures Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan. After getting the crowd to its feet with his own "House Party," Hunt strapped on an acoustic guitar to sing a lovely version of "The Way I Am" that emphasized his silky croon, equal parts soul and twang. For his part, Bryan called a gutsy audible for an unrehearsed "Big City." While Urban and Gill heroically winged their way through the changes, Bryan situated himself as their equal on the stage and sang with the kind of feeling that made questioning his reverence for the country legend seem utterly ridiculous.