Reba McEntire

CMA Awards Raises Eyebrows After Allowing Unmasked Guests to Attend

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Who says you can’t put on a live award show in 2020? After what’s been a long and difficult year, last night’s 2020 CMA Awards pulled out all the stops in order to show off country music’s best and brightest.

Hosted by country music icons Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker, the ceremony was chock full of incredible performances and many A-list celebrities were in attendance. 

However, the show’s decision to allow guests has raised a few eyebrows, as many people wonder if it was safe given the rising number of COVID-19 cases in this country. 

A Small Audience Was Allowed

While other major award shows have gone on without an audience this year (Emmys, MTV VMAs, etc), the CMA Awards decided to allow nominated artists and guests to attend.

Guests were seated at tables with the other people in their party and were not allowed to mingle with others during commercial breaks. However, some fans noticed that the guests were not wearing masks, despite the event being indoors.

A rep for the Country Music Association told TVLine that every single person entering the venue — including staff and artists — was tested for COVID-19 leading up to the ceremony.

In fact, a number of artists dropped out prior to the ceremony due to themselves or someone in their group testing positive, including Lady A, Rascal Flatts, and Lee Brice.

The show also explained the tables were spaced eight feet apart and no more than four people could sit at any table. 

While these precautions are all well and fine, it’s hard to understand why the show didn’t require guests to wear masks. Guess they didn’t want to ruin their makeup?

Major Performances

Alright, now let’s get to the music. Justin Bieber and Dan + Shay performed their hit song “10,000 Hours,” while Maren Morris, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, and Keith Urban also hit the stage.

Popstar Charlie Puth also hit the stage with up-and-coming artist Gabby Barrett and Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, and Ashley McBryde performed a tribute to Charlie Daniels, who passed in July. 

Big Winners of the Night

Eric Church took home the major prize for Entertainer of the Year, beating out Luke Combs, Miranda Lamber, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban.

Below are some of the other big winners from the show:

Single of the Year:
“10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay (with Justin Bieber)
“Beer Never Broke My Heart,” Luke Combs
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert
“The Bones,” Maren Morris — Winner
“I Hope,” Gabby Barrett 

Album of the Year:
Heartache Medication, Jon Pardi
Never Will, Ashley McBryde
Old Dominion, Old Dominion
What You See Is What You Get, Luke Combs — Winner
Wildcard, Miranda Lambert 

Song of the Year:
“Bluebird,” Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert
“The Bones,” Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, Laura Veltz — Winner
“Even Though I’m Leaving,” Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Ray Fulcher
“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Luke Combs, Randy Montana, Carly Pearce, Jonathan Singleton
“More Hearts Than Mine,” Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis, Derrick Southerland

Female Vocalist of the Year:
Miranda Lambert  
Ashley McBryde 
Maren Morris — Winner
Kacey Musgraves 
Carrie Underwood  

Male Vocalist of the Year:
Eric Church  
Luke Combs — Winner
Thomas Rhett 
Chris Stapleton 
Keith Urban   

Vocal Group of the Year:
Lady A
Little Big Town 
Old Dominion — Winner
Rascal Flatts