25 Best Things We Saw at CMA Music Fest 2016

From Eric Church's show of artistic rebellion to Maren Morris's bohemian spirit

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Best Haggard Tribute: Clint Black
Frederick Breedon IV/FIlmMagic5/25

Best Haggard Tribute: Clint Black

It was easy to hear the influence of Merle Haggard in Clint Black's short set at Nissan Stadium on Friday night. "Nothin' But the Taillights" is pure Hag. Which makes sense, considering that early in Black's career, he and the late country legend shared a 100-city tour and grew to be good friends. Such good friends, Black told reporters backstage, that he had the audacity to ask if he could help the Hall of Famer finish a tune he was working on. Black gave Haggard his new lyrics and received an "A-' from the workingman's poet, who remarked that one word felt like a throwaway. "I said, 'Well, what would you have used?'" Black recalled. "He tilted his head back and thought, and he came up with the word that was perfect. . .  It was actually two words: 'finally leaving.'" The song was "Untanglin' My Mind."

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