Yee-haw! The 2016 CMA Awards was full of surprises — did we mention that Beyoncé performed with the Dixie Chicks?! While Queen Bey clearly stole the show, Taylor Swift also made a surprise appearance during the telecast while Randy Travis delivered a tear-jerking performance.
Relive the top five moments in the video above and below:
1. Beyoncé Performs “Daddy Lessons” With the Dixie Chicks
All hail Queen Bey! After the Lemonade singer took the stage to perform a country rendition of “Daddy Lessons” with the Dixie Chicks, the internet started joking on Twitter that Bey “just invented country music.” Click here to see the internet’s best reactions to the truly epic performance.
2. Randy Travis Delivers Tear-Jerking Performance
The country star, who was recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, left the audience teary-eyed after singing the final lyric “amen” in his 1987 hit “Forever and Ever, Amen.” The moment earned the crooner, who struggled to regain his his voice and the ability to walk after suffering a life-threatening stroke in 2013, a standing ovation at the start of the show.
3. Dolly Parton Earns the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award
Lily Tomlin introduced Jennifer Nettles and Pentatonix, who performed “Jolene” in Dolly Parton’s honor. “Dolly is country music, pure and simple,” Tomlin said of her 9 to 5 costar. Reba then appeared onstage to sing “9 to 5” in her honor, while Kacey Musgraves performed “Here You Come Again.” Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride also paid tribute to the iconic country songstress. “This is an absolute high for me,” Parton told the crowd while accepting the award, mocking Willie Nelson and sending the crown into laughter.
4. Taylor Swift Returns to the CMAs Stage
Taylor Swift returned to the CMAs stage to present Garth Brooks with the award for Entertainer of the Year. The “Welcome to New York” singer, who recently penned Little Big Town’s new jam “Better Man,” recalled when she first moved to Nashville 13 years ago before handing over the award to the country music legend.
5. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley Mock the Election
The two cohosts mocked the current presidential race between controversial Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during their opening monologue. “The people need to know: Will you accept tonight’s results?” Underwood asked Paisley, joking about Trump’s statement that he might not accept the election result if he loses.
“Yes. If I win,” Paisley replied, quoting Trump, before Underwood reminded him he’s not nominated. “Then no. And you’re a nasty woman,” he jokingly quipped, echoing Trump’s dig at Clinton during the third debate. Click here to watch all their zingers from the evening.
And click here for a complete recap of the night’s biggest winners!
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