The 2017 CMA Awards started off with a solemn tribute, with Eric Church singing “Amazing Grace” acapella with a single spotlight. Immediately following, Darius Rucker and Keith Urban delivered a performance of Hootie and the Blowfish’s song “Hold My Hand.” Joining in on the performance was Little Big Town. Towards the end of the tune, all of the performers from tonight’s show were revealed on stage, chiming in on the chorus, along with backup singers. Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, Faith Hill, and Tim Mcgraw were just a few of the singers who appeared on stage. It was truly an uplifting opening to the show, given the recent tragedies that have hit our country, like the Las Vegas mass shooting.
After the performance ten-time hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley made their entrances on stage to deliver a message of love, music and faith, honoring the victims and families of the tragedies that have affected our nation this year. Transitioning into their normal jokes, Underwood said that the CMAs have given them some “guidelines” about certain topics they aren’t allowed to discuss. In response, Paisley took the opportunity to bring up all the topics they cannot discuss. Paisley then used Underwood’s song “Before He Cheats” to make fun of Donald Trump and Underwood “had no choice” but to join in. The two changed the words to the song title, to “Before He Tweets.”
Next, the duo talked about all the baby news in country music and they recognized pop star Pink in the audience. Singing from the stage, the duo put on their “solar eclipse” glasses while looking at all the huge stars … and some of them sported some paper glasses as well. Soon, just as Underwood and Paisley were getting into making fun of Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill, the couple appeared on stage, bringing an Underwood and Paisley set of Barbie dolls. Using the dolls, McGraw and Hill made fun of the two hosts before congratulating them on 10 years od hosting the show together.