A tribute to the late Troy Gentry was an emotional spotlight of a number of Kentucky moments at Wednesday night time’s CMA Awards.
Very early within the broadcast from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Dierks Bentley and members of Rascal Flatts took the stage and launched into Montgomery Gentry’s signature hit, “My Town,” with pictures of Gentry, who died in a September helicopter crash in New Jersey, flashing up behind them. Flatts frontman Gary LeVox sported at Batman t-shirt, highlighting Gentry’s favourite character. Then got here the heart-in-the-throat second as Gentry’s longtime accomplice Eddie Montgomery took the stage along with his signature microphone twirl to hitch the efficiency.
Eddie Montgomery performs “My Town” on the 51st annual CMA Awards on the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. eight, 2017, in Nashville.
Chris Pizzello Invision/AP
At the crescendo of the music’s third verse, Montgomery bellowed, “Later on, me and T-Roy will show you around, my town.” ABC cameras ceaselessly went to Gentry’s widow, Angie, taking within the efficiency.
Morgane Stapleton, left, and Chris Stapleton, who’re anticipating twins, arrive on the 51st annual CMA Awards on Wednesday, Nov. eight, 2017, in Nashville.
Evan Agostini Invision/AP
Gentry was additionally acknowledged later within the awards present within the in memoriam section, with host Carrie Underwood singing the hymn “Softly and Tenderly,” together with stars resembling Glenn Campbell and Don Williams, who died the identical day as Gentry.
As followers remembered Gentry and celebrated Montgomery’s return to the stage, Eastern Kentuckian Chris Stapleton loved one other large night time on the CMAs, taking dwelling awards for male vocalist of the yr and album of the yr for “From A Room: Vol. 1” — his third and second time, respectively, profitable these awards. In notably humble speeches, he honored his fellow nominees every time, saying every of his fellow male vocalist nominees had helped get him the place he’s. He additionally thanked his spouse and stage accomplice Morgane, their youngsters and, “kids that are on the way,” because the couple is anticipating twins.
Officer Don Evans and DeAnn Stephens had been honored as small market radio personalities of the yr on the 51st annual CMA Awards.
In addition to tributes to Gentry and awards for Stapleton, it was an enormous night time for WBUL-FM 98.1 morning group DeAnn Stephens and Don Evans, aka Officer Don and DeAnn, as they had been named broadcast personalities of the yr, small market.