The 9 Best Moments of the 2015 CMA Music Festival
Music Mix Daily Staff
Every year, the CMA Music Fest brings out the fans with its sheer mass of country music talent. In fact, with over 400 acts and almost 90,000 attendees, the festival can be darn near overwhelming! That’s why we’re sharing our favorite moments from the 2015 Festival:
1. When Randy Houser Pulled the Plug
It’s actually hard to understand how much a change in tone can affect a whole crowd. If you ever want to study the phenomenon, look no further than the spectacular moment when, mid-performance, Randy Houser suddenly switched his take on the ballad “Like a Cowboy” from full-blown electric extravaganza to an awesome acoustic rendition. The entire band stood back on his command, and he finished out the song with nothing but his powerful voice and acoustic guitar. The Mississippi born singer sure picked the perfect song, and we wouldn’t be surprised if there were some tears in the LP Field audience that night. You can check out the acoustic rendition here:
2. When Carrie Underwood showed off her new-mom legs
At 32 years old, the singer had plenty of reasons to be happy as she took over the LP Field Stage, having just won three CMT Music Awards. Yet, usually a woman who has had a baby three months ago doesn’t feel wonderful being watched by thousands of people as she struts around a stage. Certainly not the case for Underwood, who shared her astonishing voice alongside her absolutely incredible post-mom body to the festival. She remains a great role model for all the young, aspiring singers out there, and now she gets the added benefit of being an inspiration for new moms, too. (Maybe CMT can wrangle up and award for that next year!)
3. When Kellie Pickler was honored for serving the troops
No stranger to winning awards, American Idol’s Kellie Pickler received an especially heartwarming one during the 2015 festival: the Operation Troop Aid Chris Kyle Patriot Award. The name might seem a little long, but it’s for a good reason – it honors Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL who was not only awarded numerous commemorations and decorations for serving his country, but also wrote the autobiography American Sniper (adapted into a film directed by Clint Eastwood). Chris was tragically killed, out of combat, in 2013. It was an emotional moment for Kellie when the sweet singer received the award for her eight United Service Organization’s (USO) Tours. In true sweetheart style, Kellie accepted the honor by sharing that it “is not about me. It’s about all of our servicemen and women and their families and the sacrifices they’ve made.” The singer also proudly belted out the national anthem for the audience, which included the award’s namesake’s parents, Deby and Wayne Kyle.
4. When fans shared their snaps with the singers
The Nashville festival is known for not only its stunning performances, but also for the up-close-and-personal encounters that can be had through meet-and-greets and chance meetings. So it is no surprise that, throughout the festival, Twitter and Instagram were going wild with pics of fans who got to meet their favorite celebrities. Here are a couple tasters of the most adorable ones we stumbled across during the Fest:
5. When Little Big Town invited the clowns
Maybe Little Big Town felt the need to play with the concept of “little” and “big”, because they were sure towered over by the clowns-on-stilts they brought out on stage during their hit song Pain Killer. One of the top moments was when Jimi Westbrook kept his cool as a clown walked right over his head – a seriously impressive feat since those clowns definitely had our heads spinning!
6. When country music’s family values were celebrated
It was pretty cute to see the family and sibling acts that littered the Festival this year. One of our favorites was the LP Field performance for the Kimberly, Reid, and Neil Perry trio (under the aptly titled band name, The Band Perry). Another great DNA-sharing group were the Shuggah Pies (sisters Amy, Angela, and Courtney Kretchel) whose harmonies made it hard to believe that they aren’t triplets! Well, Amy and Angela are twins so maybe that has got something to do with it!
7. When the crowd became as entertaining as the performances!
Every festival gets its fair share of fantastic characters, and the CMA Music Festival is no different. Except for, perhaps, a certain country flair that goes along with it. A huge shout out to Rolling Stone for capturing one of the cutest crowd characters – an electrifying Elvis impersonator with a big thumbs up for the Fest:
8. When you remember that the proceeds go to a great cause
This year, the festival brought in a record-breaking 60.4 million dollars to Nashville. With the artists performing for free, there is a lot of extra money hanging around and CMA donates half of the net proceeds to charitable causes. Hat’s off to you, CMA! To learn some more, you can check out this video:
9. And when you can watch it all again…
Sure, the Festival is over. But that doesn’t mean it has to end. Hosted by Little Big Town, the best of the best from the festival will be aired on August 4th on ABC!