The 2017 CMT Awards opened with a heartfelt tribute to Gregg Allman, the legendary Southern rock singer who passed away on May 27. Country superstars Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum frontman Charles Kelley were joined by crossover artist Darius Rucker for a moving rendition of Allman’s signature tune “Midnight Rider.” Making the moment even more memorable was that they were accompanied by the Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks.
“Nashville” star Charles Esten hosted the awards. Other talent performing on the show included Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge, Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett, and Blake Shelton.
Keith Urban was the king of the night, winning all four of his races, including the coveted prize of Video of the Year for “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” Urban’s collaboration with Carrie Underwood on “The Fighter” also prevailed, allowing Underwood to extend her record for most CMT Awards to 17. They performed the duet on this fast-paced show. (See the complete list of CMT Awards winners.)