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15 Most Unexpected CMA Awards Acceptance Speeches of All Time

The funniest and most poignant lines from CMA winners over the years

CMA Awards winners speeches

Miranda Lambert accepts a CMA Award from Loretta Lynn

Katherine Bomboy/Disney ABC Television Group

The musical performances may be the big tune-in draw of the CMA Awards each year, but it's the acceptance speeches that often result in water-cooler fodder the next day. Whether they're teary-eyed and endearing or funny and over-the-top, those two minutes or so at the podium can define an entire CMA telecast. As we wait to hear what winners have to say at Wednesday's CMAs, we look back at 15 of the most buzzed-about and unexpected speeches from Miranda Lambert, Loretta Lynn, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson and more.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton in 1978

Ron Galella Collection

Dolly Parton

Entertainer of the Year, 1978
"I had this dress made in case I won. And about five minutes ago I was hoping I wouldn't win because I busted the front of it. My daddy said that's what I got for putting 50 pounds of mud in a five pound bag."

Shania Twain

Shania Twain

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Shania Twain

Entertainer of the Year, 1999
"I have to meet Dolly Parton tonight after the show. She's my absolute biggest inspiration of all time, and she can't leave the building until I at least meet her!"

The Judds

A very surprised mother and daughter, Naomi and Wynonna Judd, accept the Horizon Award at "The 18th Annual CMA Awards" on Oct. 8, 1984, at the Grand Ole Opry House, live telecast on the CBS Television Network. Other nominees for this award were Deborah Allen, Earl Thomas Conley, Vern Gosdin and Michael Martin Murphy.

Courtesy of AMA

The Judds

Horizon Award, 1984
Naomi Judd: "Well, slap the dog and spit in the fire!"

Wynonna Judd: "All I wanted was a pretty dress."

Blake Shelton accepts the Male Vocalist of the Year Award onstage at the 47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 01: Recording Artist Blake Shelton accepts the Male Vocalist of the Year Award onstage at the 47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ethan Miller/Getty

Blake Shelton

Song of the Year, 2012
"I lost my brother in a car wreck when I was 14 years old, and later in life when I decided I wanted to be a country singer, my dad always told me, 'Son, you should write a song about your brother. I lost my dad in January, and it's so amazing to me that tonight, even after he's gone, he's still right."

Taylor Swift

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 11: Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 43rd Annual CMA Awards at the Sommet Center on November 11, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Rick Diamond/Getty

Taylor Swift

Female Vocalist of the Year, 2009
"I want to thank every single person in this room tonight for not running up onstage during the speech." (This was clearly in reference to Kanye West's hijacking of her MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech earlier that year.)

Willie Nelson

Country singer-songwriter Willie Nelson appears at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 29, 1993. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mark Humphrey/AP

Willie Nelson

Country Music Hall of Fame Induction during the 1993 CMA Awards
"I really thought you had to die to get here, so I went ahead and dressed up just in case."

 

Jamey Johnson

Jamey Johnson accepts the Song of the Year honors in 2007

Scott Gries/Getty Images

Jamey Johnson

Song of the Year, 2007 (for the divorce-inspired "Give It Away," recorded by George Strait)
"I want to thank my ex-wife, Amy…. She surely deserves half of this song and half of this award, too." 

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert accepts the 2011 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Miranda Lambert

Female Vocalist of the Year, 2011
"I don't know what's going on. I just told Blake, 'I think we need to go to church!'" (Husband Blake Shelton also won Male Vocalist honors that night.)

Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire in 1986

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection

Reba McEntire

Female Vocalist of the Year, 1987
"I'm gonna tell you something mama said when we first came to Nashville: 'We can go back. We can go back home. You don't have to do this if you don't want to. You'll be doing something that I never could have done.' And it takes a lot of hard work. Any of you young ladies setting at home watching on TV, I gotta tell you, this is a great profession…so work hard and show 'em what you can do."

Vince Gill

Vince Gill

Male Vocalist of the Year, 1992
This was Gill's second consecutive win in this category. He was also the host of the awards broadcast that year.
"
Now I know how Michael Jordan feels to repeat. This is very cool. My only goal tonight was to be a good host, and that really took my mind off these awards, but this puts my mind right back on them. My other goal is to change clothes more times than Reba. I don't know if I'm gonna get it accomplished, but we've got two hours. Watch what happens, kids!"

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley in the press room at the 2010 CMA Awards

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Brad Paisley

Entertainer of the Year, 2010
"My hero, Little Jimmy Dickens has a saying: 'If you see a turtle on a fencepost, he had help getting up there'…. It sounds like a cliché when you say thanks to the fans, but the great thing about country fans is when you say 'fans,' I don't even mean mine. You guys are loyal to everyone in this room. This is the most amazing, loyal fanbase in the world."

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks during Taping of TV Special "Bob Hope & Friends" at NBC Studios in Burbank, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Ron Galella Collection

Garth Brooks

Male Vocalist of the Year, 1992
"Most of the people that camp out for those tickets, I think you guys are crazy — but I appreciate it!"

Faith Hill/Tim McGraw

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in 2000

Getty Images

Faith Hill & Tim McGraw

Female Vocalist and Male Vocalist of the Year, 2000
"I would rather not have won it if Faith hadn't won it," said McGraw, while Hill was looking for someone to share the moment with. "I feel so alone! My husband's not out here. I don't know who to hug. Can I hug somebody?"

Country singer Loretta Lynn attends the 6th Annual CMA Awards at the Ryman Auditorium in 1972 in Nashville, Tennessee.

NASHVILLE - 1972: Country singer Loretta Lynn attends the 6th Annual CMA Awards at the Ryman Auditorium in 1972 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Loretta Lynn

Entertainer of the Year, 1972
"I'm really happy, but the only thing I'm sad about is that my husband has gone hunting and couldn't make it back to share my happiness with me."

Brooks and Dunn

Kix Brooks (L) and Ronnie Dunn of the award winning duo Brooks and Dunn make their acceptance speaches October 4 for winning the Vocal Duo Award during the 29th Annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, TN. Brooks and Dunn are also nominated for Entertainer of The Year award - RTXFPZV

Jeff Mitchell/Reuters

Brooks and Dunn

Vocal Duo of the Year, 1995
"No doubt, we're the ones watching the greatest show on earth every night. Country music fans, you ought to win Entertainer of the Year every daggum year. It's wild out there!"