2011 CMA Awards Red Carpet Fashion and Highlights
Stars of all walks of life walked the red carpet at the 2011 CMA Awards on Nov. 9, many chatting with CMT for their televised coverage. Taste of Country has your highlights from some of the biggest stars in country music!
Miranda Lambert, who wore a custom-made gown by Haute Hippie, was glammed up for her big night, which will include two award nominations and a performance. "Performing ... I'm nervous about that," Lambert revealed. "Live television, especially at award shows and the Grand Ole Opry, are the only times I really get nervous."
Little Big Town were excited about their performance for the evening as well, which will be a special duet with Lionel Richie. "I'm afraid -- literally -- that I am going to faint onstage singing with him," gushed LBT's Kimberly Schlapman. "Because, I mean, come on ... that's pretty incredible!"
Sara Evans wore a stunning burgundy one-sleeve dress made by David Meister, paired with a custom chunky, blue necklace made by a local jewelry designer out of Birmingham, Ala. named Hyla DeWitt (information about her line can be found here). Evans remained tight-lipped about her highly anticipated performance, but revealed there would be a "big surprise" involved. "I'm so grateful because they gave me the most amazing set tonight," she said. "There's a big surprise, and it's very cool. I would have never imagined putting this kind of set with my song. It's really moving."
The Band Perry rank as one of the most nominated acts for the 2011 CMA Awards, which had them on the fence as to which award they wanted to take home the most. "That's so tough ... that's like picking which kid is your favorite," said Kimberly Perry, as she stood between her bandmates and brothers, Neil and Reid. "Tonight, for us, is like the equivalent of making it into the Super Bowl. It's always been an event in our household. We've kind of flipped a coin, and 'If I Die Young' could take something home tonight, I think we would be really happy."
New Artist of the Year nominee Luke Bryan prepared to wear many hats for the awards. In addition to his nomination, Bryan also will be performing his hit single 'Country Girl (Shake It for Me)' and be a correspondent for 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show.' "I will be hosting the red carpet with Ellen, so it's going to be fun," Bryan noted. "We're excited ... excited to be working with Ellen, and [we're] glad that Ellen is letting country music come to her show."
Co-host Carrie Underwood was cool and colleced on the carpet, revealing there was no pressure built up for her nomination in Female Vocalist of the Year category, which she has taken home three times so far. "[Brad Paisley and I are] hosts, so that kind of takes precedence over everything else that happens tonight," she explained. "Everything else that happens -- your performance, whatever you're nominated for -- takes a back seat. You really don't have time get your hopes up or get nervous about it or anything like that. It's all about making sure it all runs smoothly. "
Husband and wife duo Thompson Square stood out on the red carpet, as Shawna Thompson wore a sexy gown by Jean Fares, which had a plunging neckline dropping down to her bellybutton. "I'm good with it," nodded husband Keifer Thompson.
Five-time nominee Jason Aldean was still beside himself about being one of the five artists up for the big trophy, Entertainer of the Year. "I think for any of us, that's the biggest award we can receive," said Aldean. "Obviously there's a reason why they wait 'til the end to announce that one! That's a special one, man. That's a big one. They're all great, but the Entertainer of the Year ... that's the big daddy! I'm really excited to be in that for the first time."
Grand Ole Opry's newest members, Rascal Flatts, were still in awe of being inducted to the elite group of artists who share that title. "That was truly probably the biggest highlight of our career," said lead vocalist Gary LeVox. "Initially it was just to be able to play the Grand Ole Opry, but to now walk around and go we're members!"
Chris Young looked strikingly handsome as usual, leaving his cowboy hat at home and sporting a slick black tie with his sharp suit. "I was surprised I even remembered how to tie one," joked Young. "We went with a really, really nice suit today, so they were like, 'You should probably wear a tie.'"
Lauren Alaina wore a decadent white gown designed by Mandalay said she knew white was the way to go from the moment she slipped the jewel-studded dress on. "I don't really do white dresses, but I put this one on and fell in love with it!"
Power couple Faith Hill and husband Tim McGraw impressed on the red carpet. The appearance at the awards were extra special for them, as Hill was premiering her first taste of new music in six years, which will be found on her forthcoming album that is rumored to be filled with plenty of soul. "She's the best," praised McGraw. "She can do anything she wants to do. She could just sing the phone book. This record is just moving. That's what it is."
LeAnn Rimes spoke of her multiple projects coming up, including the CMT movie 'Reel Love,' which she co-stars along side Burt Reynolds, and new music in the works. "It is half way done," Rimes teased of the new album. "The last album, 'Lady and Gentlemen,' which is out right now, because of the direction of it, I'm actually kind of re-evaluating this [next] album. The songs are there, but the direction of it and the instrumentation I think is something we're [going] to continue that old-school sound, but make it contemporary."
Lady Antebellum looked amazing in their attire, but it was Hillary Scott's wedding gown which she spoke of. "I found it!" Scott grinned. "It's not finished yet, and I can't say who [designed it] yet, but I'm very excited.