Gretchen Wilson performed her new single, "When I Think About Cheating" singing into an antique 1949 Neumann Telefunken M49 microphone. Later, as she picked up her Horizon Award she commented, “I came here last year and sat way back there in the back and dreamed of standing up here one day. I never dreamed it would have happened this soon.”
Shania Twain and Billy Currington performed their duet "Party for Two," dressed in their video duds. No swinging on chandeliers here, though. The song is from Shania's Greatest Hits album, which was just released.
Other collaborations during the broadcast included Alan Jackson with Patty Loveless performing "Monday Morning Church" and Jimmy Buffett with "parrotheads" Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and George Strait. Strait also performed his hit "I Hate Everything," while Chesney waxed nostalgic with "I Go Back."
CMA Hosts Brooks & Dunn performed "It's Getting Better All The Time." This was the first time I noticed a microphone problem, as you couldn't hear Kix singing at all.
Big & Rich performed "Rollin' (The Ballad of Big & Rich)" along with hillbilly rapper Cowboy Troy and Two-Foot Fred, both of whom appeared in the video for "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."
Country Music Hall of Fame 2004 inductees Kris Kristofferson and Jim Foglesong were honored during the broadcast. Willie Nelson and Faith Hill saluted Kristofferson, performing “For the Good Times” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” respectively. Randy Travis performed “Sunday Morning Coming Down” before Kristofferson took the stage to sing his hit “Me & Bobby McGee” with Nelson, Hill and Travis. Reba McEntire introduced a taped segment on Foglesong, a former record company executive, highlighting his many achievements in Country Music. Reba also later performed her latest single, the touching "He Gets That From Me."
It was the second year in a row that Rascal Flatts picked up the Vocal Group of the Year Award. The band performed their new single, "Bless the Broken Road." “We just wanted to be a part of Country Music,” Rascal Flatts bass player Jay DeMarcus said in accepting the award. “This makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Keith Urban performed his most recent No. 1 hit, "Days Go By," and shortly afterwards was presented with the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year. “I am so dumbfounded, I don’t know what to say,” a stunned Urban said. “I am so glad my mom and dad are here tonight. I thank Nashville for letting me come and make music because it’s all I ever wanted to do anyway.”