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CMA Awards 2017: 'We're going to do what families do: come together, pray together, cry together'

CMA Awards 2017: 'We're going to do what families do: come together, pray together, cry together'
From CBC - November 9, 2017

The 2017 Country Music Association Awards marked one of its most political and emotional shows in years, as the night offered powerful moments focused on unifying as a country during a year dominated by gun violence, divisive politics and natural disasters.

Carrie Underwood broke down while singing during Wednesday night's "In Memoriam" after photos of the 58 people who died at a country music festival last month in Las Vegas were shown.

Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman quoted Maya Angelou when the foursome won vocal group of the year at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, while bandmate Karen Fairchild told the audience, "Kindness is an attractive quality."

"Tonight should be about harmony, about what we can do together to change things," Fairchild said.

That sentiment was present throughout the three-hour show, which aired on ABC.

While paying tribute to Charley Pride, filmmaker Tyler Perry said now is the time we have to all "find some common ground." And the show opened with a performance by Keith Urban, Eric Church, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum honouring the victims of the recent mass shootings, as well as the tens of thousands of people affected by hurricanes in recent months.

Urban took things a step further when he debuted a song called Female,which he said was inspired by the dozens of allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Harvey Weinstein. He earned a rousing applause after the performance.

The CMA Awards also paid tribute to some of the genre's brightest stars who have passed away. Glen Campbell, who died in August, was honoured during a touching performance of Wichita Linemanby Little Big Town and Jimmy Webb, who wrote the song.

Rascal Flatts and Dierks Bentley also paid homage to Troy Gentry, one-half of the popular country duo Montgomery Gentry, who died in a helicopter crash in September. Eddie Montgomery later joined in for the performance of My Town,as some audience members sang along with tears in their eyes.

"This has been a year marked by tragedy ... Tonight we are going to do what families do, come together, pray together, cry together and sing together, too," said Underwood, who co-hosted the show.

"This show is dedicated to all those we lost," fellow host Brad Paisley said.

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