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2013 CMA Awards: 7 most memorable moments

Posted by Emily Wright  November 6, 2013 10:50 PM

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The 47th CMA Awards took place in Nashville on Wednesday, Nov. 6 and although the night was full of memorable moments, we've narrowed it down to our top 7.

1. Luke Bryan showed a tender side with "Drink a Beer" tribute

Luke Bryan opened with an upbeat performance of "That's My Kind of Night," paired with a Florida Georgia Line collab for part of "Cruise" had the crowd on its feet, but it was a later performance that was truly moving.

luke_bryan_cma_awards.jpgBryan perched atop a stool to sing "Drink a Beer," a tribute to his deceased brother Chris and deceased sister Kelly. Chris died in 1996 in a car accident and Kelly died 11 years later while home with her young son, according to USA Today. At the end of the song, Bryan toasted a picture of himself with his siblings on the big screen at the back of the stage, beer in hand.

[Photo: Wade Payne/Invision/AP]

2. Justin Timberlake and a slew of other celebs congratulated Taylor Swift on receiving the Pinnacle Award

Mr. "SexyBack," who kicked off his "20/20 Experience" tour tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, was just one of more than a dozen celebrities, both in person and on justin_timberlake_cma_awards.jpgscreen, that congratulated 23-year-old Taylor Swift on winning the Pinnacle Award. Timberlake saluted the young starlet via video, along with actress Reese Witherspoon and several others. Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Rascal Flatts were among the presenters of the award, all of which Swift had opened for at some point in her career. Swift, for once, seemed genuinely surprised at the thoughtful act produced by the CMA folks and her peers.

[Photo: Wade Payne/Invision/AP]

3. Diddy and Kellie Pickler presented an award

kellie_pickler_sean_diddy_combs_cma_awards.jpgKellie Pickler was joined by a familiar face to pop music, but not necessarily to country music. Pickler and rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs presented the award for vocal group of the year to Little Big Town after Diddy admitted he was there because he's a country fan -- on the low. He appended his reasoning and added that he was there because people like all types of music, and that's what his new music network Revolt is all about.

And there you have it folks. He's a businessman.

[Photo: Wade Payne/Invision/AP]

4. Puffy and Pickle

When Little Big Town singer Karen Fairchild accepted the award from Diddy and Pickler, she exclaimed that she had gotten an award from "Puffy and Pickle."

We deem this the best quote of the night.

5. Carrie and Brad's opener

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are veterans at this whole CMA Awards hosting thing.

Fun fact: They're halfway to Vince Gill's record of 12 years at the show's helm.

Part of the duo's opening number this year was a ditty called "Obamacare By the Morning," which took jabs at the president's affordable healthcare website.

Another unforgettable element of their dialogue revolved around having Pickler pass out signs to crowd members with names of people they'll be expected to feud with in the future, while Paisley and Underwood made up lyrics to the tune of "Why Can't We Be Friends?" Kelly Clarkson was given a sign reading "Reba" (her step-mother-in-law, Reba McEntire), and Darius Rucker was handed one reading "Julianne Hough." Think it was too soon after her blackface Halloween costume disaster? Let us know what you think in the comments.

The icing on the cake was a duck-themed version of "Blurred Lines," complete with thecarrie_brad_blurred_lines.jpg cast of "Duck Dynasty" dancing alongside the hosting duo. With lyrics like "You're a country girl, I know you've hunted," versus Robin Thicke's "You're a good girl, I know you want it," we don't see why this version couldn't be a country hit.

[Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images]

6. Eric Church sang... Without a hat

News broke earlier this week that Eric Church was going to bring down the house with his performance at the CMAs, so the bar was set high. When Church walked on stage sans hat, it was clear he meant business. The performance of his latest song, "The Outsiders," also the title of this upcoming album, came complete with pyrotechnics.

7. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert each won their fourth vocalist of the year awards

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were arguably the country power couple of the '90s, and it seems as blake_shelton_miranda_lambert_cma_awards.jpgthough Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have taken over that title for the early 2000s. Shelton took home his fourth award for male vocalist of the year, and Lambert took home her fourth for female vocalist of the year. If that doesn't say "No. 1," we don't know what does.

[Photo: Eric Henderson/Reuters]

Pictures: CMA Awards honor new, old artists in Nashville

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Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.

Sarah Rodman is a TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.

Meghan Colloton is a Things to Do and Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.

Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.

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