The 2017 CMA awards opened with a somber and brief acoustic rendition of “Amazing Grace” by Eric Church, which morphed into Darius Rucker and Keith Urban, followed by several country singers joining together for Hootie & The Blowfish’s 1995 hit “Hold My Hand.”
Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley then took the stage to briefly acknowledge the tragic Las Vegas shooting and the Sutherland Springs church shooting as well as the devastating hurricanes that hit Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico.
“The way we see it the best way to honor our fans is to play our music loud and proud our music lifts people up so this show is dedicated to all we’ve lost,” Paisley stated.
Underwood and Paisley jointly celebrated their 10th year of hosting the CMA Awards together and joked a little about Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s commemorative Barbie dolls. Then the two presenters were ribbed a little by the first couple of country music themselves who brought the pair their own Barbies onstage.
They continued by discussing the upcoming performance by Pink or “Pank” as Paisley called the pop singer. The pair also fired off a few jokes about Donald Trump using Twitter.