Bieber’s debut, Maren Morris’ tribute to Black women of country and more mega moments from the 2020 CMA Awards

'There are so many amazing Black women who pioneered this genre... I hope you know that we see you.'
November 12, 2020 10:31 a.m. EST
November 14, 2020 11:00 p.m. EST
It’s hard to throw an awards show in the middle of a pandemic. No matter what, maintaining physical distancing rules and masking up will be a challenge when people get excited about wins and performances. The Country Music Association Awards (stream now on and the CTV app) last night proved to be a difficult sell, as many performers withdrew from the ceremony at the last minute, like Lady A (the country band, not the blues singer) and Lee Brice, both of whom have had the novel coronavirus affect them.But for hosts Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker, the show must go on, and under their wing, we were treated with some incredible moments. Most of them, frankly, were provided by the hosts themselves, as they teamed up to perform a duet of “In The Ghetto” in tribute to the late Mac Davis. Yes, this was something we needed.

Charlie Pride. That's the Tweet.

We can’t go any further without mentioning the show-stopping performance country legend Charlie Pride gave before accepting the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. The 86-year-old showed no signs of slowing down as he sang his 1971 classic, “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” alongside Jimmie Allen. Everyone in the Nashville auditorium and everyone at home got on their feet to sing and clap along.
Even other country stars had to give it up for Charlie, like Chase Rice who tweeted that Pride’s performance was everything to him.

Black Women of Country

Despite the fact Black women were completely overlooked at the ceremony (both as performers and for awards), Maren Morris notably took a moment when accepting her Female Vocalist of the Year award to call attention to the Black women of country who have been pioneers in the genre and continue to drive it forward. Linda Martell, Yola, Mickey Guyton, Rissi Palmer, Brittney Spencer and Rhiannon Giddens made up the list Morris encouraged viewers to listen to and support.
Twitter did what Twitter does and amplified that moment to recognize more Black female artists in country music and revel in the appreciation of Black women in a disproportionately white genre. Some of the women Morris mentioned posted their appreciation for the shout out from home. [video_embed id='2074944']ICYMI: Five reasons you don't want to miss the CMA Awards [/video_embed]

Ingrid Andress's Emotional Ballad

Relative newcomer Ingrid Andress was on everyone’s lips (and tweets) after she gave a moving performance of her sweet piano ballad, “More Hearts Than Mine.” It’s a wonderful tune about bringing home your love to meet your family, but by the final chords, accompanied by a series string section, Ingrid was overcome with emotion and fought back tears to get out the final lyrics.
This did not go unnoticed online, as social media could not stop buzzing her name and the wonderful future she now has thanks to this real and unguarded performance.

Darius Rucker's Impromptu Solo

Cohost Darius Rucker might have been left hanging a little when Lady A withdrew from their performance together at the last minute, but it sure didn’t show as he performed his new song, “Beers and Sunshine,” which left everyone stomping their feet to the new summer tune of 2021. With a lyric like, “The only BS I need is beers and sunshine,” ya gotta admit, it’s catchy AF.

Justin Bieber's CMA Debut

When you think of Justin Bieber, you probably don’t think "country music star" *checks notes to see if country music is big in Stratford, Ontario*. But country diehards had to give it up and salute his performance alongside Dan + Shay for the song “10,000 hours” which had everyone abuzz with praise.

Reba is... Reba

Other notable highlights of the night included Eric Church winning the Entertainer of the Year award, Ashley McBryde’s moving performance of “One Night Standards,” the Little Big Town tribute to the late great Kenny Rogers, Miranda Lambert’s stunning song and outfit combo, and Keith Urban performing live all the way from Australia... but one thing that all viewers and country stans alike could not get over was host Reba. The woman hasn’t aged in 30 years! What sorcery is this? What face cream? We need answers! COVID-19 might be temporary, but do-si-do’ing is forever.Stream the full broadcast of The 2020 CMA Awards on and the CTV app.[video_embed id='2049925']BEFORE YOU GO: 'Horse girl' from Alberta can gallop and jump just like a horse [/video_embed]

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