Last night we saw the best CMA Awards show in years. Here's what set this one apart from others.

First off, the performances were spot on. The performers all were very talented, and we got to see a lot of the raw talent. We really got to see the future of country music and it looks good.

Luke Combs continues to break the mold. He's a refreshing breath of real air that isn't bro country. He's there because he's a talented singer and a great songwriter. Which he was awarded both for with his song of the year 'Beautiful Crazy,' and his male vocalist award. Very well deserved!

This CMA awards also was a tribute to women in country music. They were able to show off some of their great talent with some fantastic collaborations. My favorite of the night was Kelsea Ballerini singing homecoming queen with just her strumming her guitar. Then, after she finished Lindsey Elle appeared plucking the opening of Girl Crush, which lead into a star filled medley from our favorite singers, then finally joined by Little Big Town.

There was a difference in this CMA awards. While some jokes were cracked, you could tell CMA's were showcasing the talent we have in country music. It wasn't highlighting the country music cliches, but showing that we have great musicians and that country can be respected throughout all genres of music. I mean, look at Maren Morris. This girl is insanely talented.

Carrie Underwood had a level of confidence and showmanship we haven't seen before from her. She was on fire all night. I really was hoping she would win Entertainer of The Year, but it's hard to compete with Garth Brooks and his massively huge tour and schedule.

Chris Stapleton and Pink were great as well. I love how Chris just sat back and let Pink shine on the stage, then slowly make his way into the song with his powerful voice.

Of course, the tribue to Kris Kristofferson was great. How could it not be with all that talent on stage.

Big Surprises:

Lady A and Halsey. I never would have thought that would have been one of my favorite perfomances of the night. Beautifully arranged and Halsey killed it. I have respect now for that pop artist.

Kelsea Ballerini, as I said earlier she absolutely nailed her performance. Stripped down with just a guitar, she really showed us she is the future of women in country.

Ashley McBryde winning New Artist of The Year was a surprise. I expected Midland to win. Speaking of them, they had an awkward presentation.

Kelsey Musgraves won female vocalist of the year. I shouldn't be surprised as she's won before. I just expected Carrie or Maren Morris to win since they have had so much coverage. Kacey is very talented though, and I have been a fan of hers for a long time. She did a great job with Willie singing "Rainbow Connection" which I thought was a fun song choice. It was good to see Willie still kickin on stage.

This CMA Awards show did a fine job of showcasing the history of country music, the accomplishments of our women over the years, and a wonderful peak into a bright future for the industry.



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