CMA Awards: Early winners, what to expect & how to watch


The 51st Annual CMA Awards kicked off Wednesday morning with country artist Kelsea Ballerini revealing on Good Morning America early CMA winners.

Brothers Osbourne were announced as winners for Music Video of the Year for "It Ain't My Fault," on the rooftop of Acme Feed & Seed on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. Musical Event of the Year went to “Funny (How Time Slips Away),” by Willie Nelson and the late Glen Campbell.

More winners will be announced tonight at 7:00 p.m. CST on ABC, as Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return to co-host for their 10th consecutive year.

Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Keith Urban are opening up the broadcast with a special collaboration.

This will be the first time country music will be together since the Las Vegas massacre that took place during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, just over a month ago. Paisley said they won't shy away from the tragedy.

"We have to somehow navigate that with our monologue and there's no ignoring what we've been through in country music and in America this year. On one hand, we can acknowledge that and on the other, it's our job to lift people up this week and celebrate this music," Paisley explained.

There are 12 categories of nominees for country music's biggest night, and '90s country artist Lionel Carthwright told ABC 7, he's impressed by the new generation of country artists.

"I love Chris Stapleton's voice. I like what he's done. Jason Isbell I think is the best songwriter of his generation. I love his writing," Carthwright admitted. "There's a traditional element even though they're modern writers, you can kind of hear Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton in there, so I'm kind of a sitting duck for what they do," he explained.

Up-and-coming country artist Kimberly Dunn told ABC 7, one of the best things about country music is the artists are storytellers first and foremost.

"I think the cool thing about country music is that it's relatable. In the grand scheme of things, you could be having a really bad day and you could come out and listen to country music and it can change your whole attitude," Dunn pointed out.

Some of the stars slated to perform on the CMA stage are Pink, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and Luke Bryan, as well as Little Big Town, Jon Pardi, Miranda Lambert, Brothers Osborne, Eric Church, Old Dominion and Thomas Rhett. Alan Jackson is set for a special performance and there will be collaborations between Niall Horan and Maren Morris, Brad Paisley and Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini with Reba McEntire and Dierks Bentley with Rascal Flatts.

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