Best One-Two 'Crush': Little Big Town
In addition to Chris Stapleton's big sweep, the further retraining of the spotlight on quality came with the big wins for Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" for Single and Song of the Year respectively. The band took to the podium for the first triumph and wasted no time giving thanks to everyone who took risks along the way to support the sultry torch song written by Liz Rose, Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey. "This is about being brave and being bold," said the group's Karen Fairchild, who later led the group in a heated performance of the ballad. "Country radio, thanks for having the guts to play it and for all the gatekeepers for not getting in the way of following our gut and our heart, because the fans want to hear it," Fairchild added. The songwriters took the stage next to collect their trophy and thanked the band for "taking this to places we never, ever, ever could've dreamed of." For a song that once was misinterpreted, the one-two victories were the ultimate validation. S.R.