2015 CMA Awards: 12 Best and Worst Moments - Rolling Stone
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2015 CMA Awards: 12 Best and Worst Moments

From Luke Bryan’s before-our-eyes maturation to the funeral of bro country

Luke Bryan CMA AwardsLuke Bryan CMA Awards

Luke Bryan turned in a commanding, mature performance of "Strip It Down" during the 2015 CMA Awards.

Taylor Hill/Getty Images

The revolution was televised last night, as the 49th annual CMA Awards upended its recent tradition of retreads and took a hard turn toward recognizing substance, bestowing three deserving trophies on powerhouse singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton and crowning Little Big Town's “Girl Crush” the belle of the ball.  

And it was Justin Timberlake of all people who helped remind the assembled about the roots of the genre in his scorching country-pop-gospel collaboration with Stapleton. While there were some spotty musical moments and familiar reruns happening inside the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville — including Luke Bryan repeating for Entertainer of the Year and Miranda Lambert copping her sixth Female Vocalist of the Year trophy —  the night was a win for quality country music. Here are the 12 best and worst moments of the big show.

In This Article: Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan


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