The 50th annual CMA Awards began with a bang, as country legends and current stars paid tribute to some of the genre's finest songs during a lengthy medley.
Vince Gill paid tribute to the late Merle Haggard by performing a snippet of "Mama Tried," joined by Haggard's youngest son, Ben. His performance was followed by a salute to Buck Owens by Roy Clark and Brad Paisley (who appeared to be wearing the yellow rhinestone jacket Owens wore on his Carnegie Hall live album), Carrie Underwood singing "Stand By Your Man," Paisley and Charley Pride singing "Kiss an Angel Good Morning," Alabama's "Mountain Music," Charlie Daniels' "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," Reba's version of "Fancy," Dwight Yoakam's "Guitars, Cadillacs," Clint Black's "Killin' Time," Ricky Skaggs' "Country Boy," and Alan Jackson's "Don't Rock the Jukebox."
The grand finale of the country music medley was an emotional one, as all of the performers gathered on stage to sing Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever Amen." Travis himself joined in on the last lines of the song, to thunderous applause from the audience.
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