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16 Most Iconic CMA Awards Wins Ever

There are some CMA Award wins you see coming from a mile away, when an artist is a shoo-in to take home that glass trophy, but occasionally one will surprise audiences, or even make history.

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Shania Twain to Receive Icon Award at Billboard's 2016 Women in Music Event

Shania Twain is an icon in country music, and this winter, she'll earn her official medal. Twain will be honored with Billboard's Icon Award at the 2016 Billboard Women in Music ceremony on Dec. 9 in New York.

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Dierks Bentley to Play Free Pre-2016 CMA Awards Concert

Dierks Bentley will perform outside Nashville's Bridgestone Arena the morning of the 2016 CMA Awards.

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Eric Paslay Brings 'Angels in This Town' to 'Today' [Watch]

Eric Paslay stopped by the Today Show on Wednesday (Oct. 26) to perform his powerful new single, "Angels in This Town." Wanting to know more about the song, Kathy Gifford asked him, "what kind of angels are we talking about?" Continue reading…

Things got really crazy when Kid Rock showed up unannounced for this duet

On Oct. 22, Uncle Kracker took the stage at Coyote Joes in the Shelby Township suburb of Detroit as part of the BMI Singer-Songwriter Series.

But, fans in the room got an even bigger surprise when he was joined by country rocker legend Kid Rock.

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RELATED: The country music community comes together in support of Kid Rock

Uncle Kracker was all set to go solo on the lyrics to their 2008, sun-soaked smash “All Summer Long.” However, since Kid Rock hails from Detroit, it only made sense for him to be there, too, crooning away with his pal.

“Not everybody will call you up at nine in the morning and say, ‘We got to write this motherf***er here,'” reminisced Uncle Kracker, according to Billboard. The “Devil Without a Cause” singer replied with, “Don’t get all sentimental. Give the people what they want.”

And sure enough, that’s just what they did.

In this video, you can hear the crowd erupt into applause, as Uncle Kracker and Kid Rock position themselves on a couple of bar stools. With the help of an acoustic guitar player, they belt out an unplugged version of their collaborative song from Kid Rock’s “Rock n Roll Jesus” album.

Kid Rock leans into the microphone and takes the first verse. He throws in some sexy hand gestures to make the shape of an hourglass figure. Then, Uncle Kracker effortlessly shows off his pristine vocals on the second verse while sipping his drink.

At one point, Kid Rock took complete command of the stage and asked the guitar player to pause so he could belt out the words, “To hit Coyote Joes and play some rock ‘n’ roll.” That moment earned major screams from the fans! But, Kid Rock wasn’t done working the crowd just yet. In fact, he slowed it down to sing a cappella before exploding into an epic finish.

RELATED: Watch as Kid Rock strolls into a Nashville honky-tonk and shocks a country crowd

Needless to say, the entire tune made for one incredible night! Heck, nothing else could make you miss summer, right?

That BMI Singer-Songwriter Series show was the last of a four-night stint that included a lineup of artists like Hunter Hayes, LoCash, Sarah Buxton and Troy Verges. Watch the video above to see Uncle Kracker and Kid Rock’s incredible rendition of “All Summer Long.”

Grand Ole Opry is going north to NYC with new venue

The Grand Ole Opry is going north. The famous venue for country music is branching out of Tennessee for the first time its 91-year history with a new restaurant and venue in Times Square.

Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., which owns the Opry House and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, on Thursday announced plans to open the Opry City Stage around April 2017, which will feature retail space, a listening room and private event space, a bar and a restaurant.

Colin Reed, chairman and CEO, said Ryman hopes to expand the country music-themed concept to other tourist-heavy cities, but they wanted to start in New York.

"There are about a 100 million consumers who love country music all across the country," Reed said. "Times Square happens to be the place where between 40 and 50 million tourists go through that market. So we thought we'd start in a place as big and dominant as Times Square."

Promoters of country music have been trying to plant a permanent flag in New York for decades with mixed success. A country music festival called Farmborough was cancelled after just one year in 2015, but a country radio station returned to the city's airwaves in 2013 for the first time since 1996.

Vince Gill, a longtime Grand Ole Opry member and unofficial ambassador of the genre, said New York is a strong market for country music.

"Garth Brooks played there at Central Park one time and had about 88 million people there, I think," Gill said. "So yeah, they love country music up there."

Visitors will be able to watch live performances at the Opry City Stage, or watch Grand Ole Opry performances from Nashville via screens. The Bluebird Cafe, the songwriter venue in Nashville, and the Nashville Songwriters Association International, will also help curate performances in the venue.

Brooks & Dunn’s Ronnie Dunn tells us why the CMA Awards are just a blur of excitement

Life seems to move pretty fast for most country stars, so big nights like the CMA Awards can get lost in the blur between playing shows and recording albums. At least, that’s how it was for Ronnie Dunn in Brooks & Dunn’s heyday.

During their run from 1991 to 2009, Brooks & Dunn racked up 50 CMA Awards nominations and 19 wins, including entertainer of the year in 1996 and a whopping 14 vocal duo of the year trophies. The CMA Awards ceremony often came in the middle of their hectic schedule on the road, and Ronnie tells Rare Country, “There are some I don’t even remember being there. You’re right in the middle of a tour and blowing and going and you just land and dress up and sit in the audience. If they call your name, great. If they don’t, you’re back on the bus to the next show.”

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RELATED: Lauren Alaina’s faith shines through on this soulful Brooks & Dunn cover

It was a different story in the beginning, though. After trying for years to launch respective solo careers, Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks found huge success from the start as a duo. That quickly translated into big wins at the CMA Awards.

“The first few were just over-the-top,” Ronnie recalls of his early CMA Awards experiences. “The first couple, it’s hard to keep it together. You’re just so glad to be there. You’ve worked for so long to get there. And then when they call your name. Super Bowl! Really? All right!”

RELATED: Brooks & Dunn’s American anthem brought healing to a wounded nation

Brooks & Dunn went on to host the CMA Awards from 2004 to 2006. They’ll reunite for a big performance on The 50th Annual CMA Awards airing live at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nov. 2 on ABC.

Listen to the performance that changed everything for Jennifer Nettles

There are songs and there are performances that can change everything for an artist. So when country vocal powerhouse Jennifer Nettles stepped onto the stage to host and perform the Kenny Loggins’ classic “Celebrate Me Home” at the CMA Country Christmas in 2015, it got her thinking… Is it time to do a Christmas album? And if so, would this be the song that could serve as the album’s vocal centerpiece?

“I’ve always been a fan of the song,” Jennifer told Rare Country in a recent interview. “Last year at the CMA Country Christmas, I performed it and I just fell in love with the arrangement we did on it. The song just feels authentic to me, especially as a traveling musician. I mean, I have been a traveling musician longer than I have not. So, coming home is just an incredible feeling, and something that feels right to sing about.”

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RELATED: Jennifer Nettles gushes about the blessing that changed her life

That performance of “Celebrate Me Home” spurred a creative surge within Jennifer’s heart to put out the Christmas album she has long thought about in her head. Titled “To Celebrate Christmas,” Jennifer’s first holiday album is nothing short of extraordinary, pairing Jennifer’s incredible voice with the songs and traditions that we all could use a little more of these days.

“Sometimes I wish that presents weren’t even a part of the holiday mix,” Jennifer explains. “Sometimes I wish it remained simply an introspective season to celebrate who we have around us and not what we have around us.”

RELATED: Jennifer Nettles raises our patriotism to a new high with this version of the national anthem

With songs such as the “Little Drummer Boy” with Idina Menzel to “Circle of Love,” penned by country legend Dolly Parton, Jennifer says that this album will make this Christmas an extra special one this year, for everyone in the family. “I’m not sure if Magnus has even been aware of the season thus far in his life,” Jennifer chuckles about her soon to be 4-year-old son. “He did get a toy stuffed animal where you squeeze his foot and it plays ‘Jingle Bells.’ I really think this is the first year he will put it all together.”

Garth Brooks' Favorite Halloween Costume? It's Obvious!

Garth Brooks admits that he's not the biggest Halloween fan in his family, but there is a costume he pulled off one year that's timeless. For years, the holiday was just a day to celebrate with his daughters.

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Watch Cassadee Pope sing one of her grandpa’s favorite songs at the Grand Ole Opry

Like many country stars of her generation, Cassadee Pope learned about the roots of country music from her grandpa. Listening to artists like Tammy WYnette and George Jones with him gave Cassadee the chops she needed to turn in performances like this one on the Grand Ole Opry.

Just listen to her voice soar on this worthy cover of Tammy Wynette’s classic “‘Til I Can Make It on My Own.”

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RELATED: Chris Young defends Cassadee Pope from a mean Twitter troll

Cassadee introduced the song saying it’s one of her grandpa’s favorite songs. She was rightfully nervous about performing it on the Opry stage.

Cass said, “I hope I don’t mess it up!”

RELATED: Watch as Chris Young shocks duet partner Cassadee Pope with a present she never saw coming

We think you’ll agree that Cassadee was just about flawless with this performance.

If you’ve never heard Tammy Wynette’s original version of “‘Til I Can Make it on My Own,” it’s definitely worth a listen. The song features Tammy’s talent for vulnerably singing part of the song and belting other parts to create a chilling contrast.

Tammy co-wrote the song and took it to No. 1 in 1976. Kenny Rogers and Dottie West scored a No. 3 country hit with their duet version of the song in 1979.

As for Cassadee, look for her at The 50th Annual CMA Awards at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nov. 2 on ABC. She’s up for musical event of the year for “Think of You,” her No. 1 hit duet with Chris Young.

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