The CMAs generally stick to a pretty standard awards show script — a glitzy red carpet and big-name performers tend to be the main news. But during this year’s in memoriam segment of the ceremony, host Carrie Underwood took a moment to pay heartfelt tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, and ended up crying through her performance.
Singing “Softly and Tenderly,” a hymn made popular in country music by Alan Jackson, Underwood managed to get most of the way through the song before the faces of the 58 victims of the Vegas shooting — who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival last month when they were attacked — appeared on a screen behind her. By the end of the song, Underwood was in tears.
During an awards show where reporters were told they would be banned if they discussed gun control or politics, this show of emotion was a bit unexpected. Outside of country singer Jason Aldean, who was performing during the attack, very few members of the country community have made statements about the mass shooting (besides sharing their support for fans and victims).
This year’s CMAs were the 10th hosted by Underwood and her annual co-host Brad Paisley. While they have been praised in the past, they did ruffle a few feathers at this year’s ceremony by jokingly mocking President Trump, singing, “Maybe he’ll think before he tweets,” to the tune of Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”
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(Photos via Rick Diamond/Getty Images + Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)