CMA Awards Kelly Clarkson, Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce ... Epic Divorcée Performance At CMAs

The Country Music Awards has some interesting moments Wednesday night ... and one of the baddest-ass moments was divorcées Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce, and Kelly Clarkson rockin' out together.

The 3 singers joined forces for Country's biggest night in Nashville ... bringin' it all for a rendition of Kelsea's latest hit, "You're Drunk, Go Home." Needless to say, the crowd was lovin' it.

TMZ broke the story ... production sources for the CMAs told us the trio was planning the powerful performance last month -- doing a song all about female empowerment, and about guys who hit on women at bars after getting plastered.

As you know, Kelly and Carly both filed for divorce in June, 2020 ... Kelly from Brandon Blackstock after 7 years of marriage, and Carly from Michael Ray after less than a year.

EMOTIONS BUBBLE UP

As for Kelsea, she pulled the plug on her 5-year marriage with Morgan Evans -- the 2 finalized their divorce a week ago. She's been very open about how tough divorce can be ... recently posting an emotional confessional from the bathtub.

FYI -- Morgan was in the crowd during Kelsea's performance with Kelly and Carly Wednesday night ... though it's unclear if he was diggin' the tune or took it a little more personal.

Peyton Manning Roasts Eli As CMA Awards Host ... 'Used To This Lack Of Professionalism!!!'

BROTHERLY LOVE
ABC

The biggest night in country music turned into a bit of a roast of Eli Manning -- with Peyton tossing several barbs his little bro's way throughout the evening ... and it was all hilarious!!

The Indianapolis Colts legend was co-hosting the annual CMA Awards show with Luke Bryan in Nashville -- and while a bunch of music stars caught playful shade from the duo ... Eli appeared to find himself as the butt of the jokes more often than not.

In fact, it only took about 10 minutes into the show for Peyton to make his first dig at the former New York Giants star, who he co-hosts his weekly "Monday Night Football" "Manningcast" with.

"Peyton, let me break it to you, I don't prepare," Bryan said during the opening monologue. "I'm just kind of a wing it kind of host."

"Trust me, that's clear," Peyton responded. "So, what you're saying is, this is my worst nightmare. But it's actually OK, because I do a show with my brother Eli -- I'm used to this lack of professionalism."

A couple hours later, Peyton threw some more quills Eli's way while chatting with the Brothers Osborne.

"So, let me guess," Peyton said turning to the country music group. "Your mom makes you work with your brother too, right?"

Eli certainly noticed it all -- and took to Twitter to gripe about his older bro.

"If my math is correct," the younger Manning said, "that is the 3rd shot Peyton has taken at me on the CMA's."

The night otherwise went off without a flaw -- and Peyton was largely lauded for his performance ... baby bro notwithstanding.

Kelly, Kelsea & Carly Divorcees to Hit the Stage ... Let's Sing About Obnoxious Dudes!!!

Kelly Clarkson, Kelsea Ballerini and Carly Pearce all have one very significant life experience in common, and it's not just being super talented and famous ... they're all recent divorcees and will be hitting the stage together for the first time to sing about lousy men.

Production sources from the upcoming Country Music Association Awards tell TMZ the trio are planning a very big and powerful performance of Kelsea's song "You're Drunk, Go Home" next month.

The song's all about female empowerment, about guys who hit on women at bars after they've had too much to drink. Both Kelly and Carly were on the song's original release -- and Kelly actually got drunk herself when they got together to record it -- so they clearly all have a good time together.

Both Kelly and Carly filed for divorce in June 2020 ... Kelly from Brandon Blackstock after 7 years of marriage and Carly from Michael Ray after less than a year.

TMZ broke the story ... it was in March when Kelly and Brandon reached a settlement -- she got primary custody and he gets $115,000 a month in spousal support until 2024.

EMOTIONS BUBBLE UP

As for Kelsea, she pulled the plug on her 5-year marriage with Morgan Evans in August, and she's been very open about how tough divorce can be ... recently posting an emotional confessional from the bathtub.

So, given the shared lifetime experiences, the whole girl gang collab at country music's biggest night makes a whole lotta sense.

HIGHS, LOWS AND LOVES

The CMA's will take place Nov. 9 in Nashville.

Peyton Manning I'm Hosting The CMAs!!! ... Teaming Up With Luke Bryan For Awards Show

Peyton Manning is taking his talents to the stage yet again -- the NFL legend has been tapped to host another awards show ... it was just revealed he and Luke Bryan will lead the 2022 CMAs in November!!!

The Country Music Association and ABC confirmed the news on Monday morning -- saying Manning and Bryan will be hosting the 56th annual awards ceremony on Nov. 9.

"When I was asked if Peyton Manning was someone I would consider co-hosting with I didn’t hesitate," said Bryan, who hosted the show alone in 2021.

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"We have become great friends through the years and what he brings to the table is gonna make it even more of a blast."

The former NFL quarterback joked he got the co-host spot because of his vocals ... sharing a video on his social media page of him singing along on a stage recently with Bryan.

"My @cma Awards audition tape must have been a hit!" Manning said.

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This will be Manning's first time ever hosting the Country Music Awards show -- though it certainly ain't his first on-stage rodeo. You'll recall, Manning also hosted the ESPYs in 2017.

The show will go down in Nashville -- a familiar area for the former Volunteers QB -- and he said he's pumped for it all.

“I am such a huge fan of Country Music," Manning said, "so to have the chance to stand among so many incredibly talented artists is an absolute honor."

Luke Bryan Cracks Aaron Rodgers Joke ... During CMAs Opener

Ya can't even get through a country music awards show without hearing about Aaron Rodgers ... 'cause the Green Bay Packers QB's COVID-19 drama was the butt of a joke during Luke Bryan's opening monologue.

The country singer welcomed the crowd at the 55th Country Music Awards Wednesday night by thanking everyone for going through the proper protocols to be present for the event ... which turned into the perfect opportunity to poke fun at the NFL MVP.

"Rest assured, we're following all the health protocols to keep everyone safe," Bryan said. "And, it is so great to be here with all my favorite artists, tested and together ... or immunized???"

Of course, Bryan's line is mocking Rodgers' now-infamous response to questions surrounding his COVID-19 vaccine status back in August ... when he did not say he got the jab, but rather was "immunized."

Most people brushed over the comment, thinking he was vaxxed ... but Rodgers' status came to light when he tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

A couple 'Pat McAfee Show' appearances later, Rodgers has since apologized for misleading people with his initial response ... but that hasn't stopped the jokes and criticism from pouring in.

Earlier this week, Jon Stewart railed AR12 at the Stand Up for Heroes event in NYC ... and Howard Stern said he would kick the QB out of the NFL if he were Roger Goodell.

Even Mark Hamill got in on it, tweeting his displeasure with Rodgers rocking a Star Wars hoodie during his McAfee interview ... saying, "Of all the sweatshirts he could have worn, he had to take full responsibility in THAT one?"

Country Star Alan Jackson Unloading Tenn. Estate for $23M!!!

Alan Jackson -- one of the OG kings of country music -- is ready to get dethroned ... from his castle-like pad, that is, 'cause he's selling his massive estate.

The two-time Grammy and 16-time CMA Awards winner has listed his majestic hilltop estate in the countryside of Franklin, Tennessee for a whopping $23 million. The 5-bedroom, 8-bathroom crib also has 4 half bathrooms. The house is 22k square feet on just over 4 acres.

The estate is super private ... surrounded by 120 acres of green space. The monumental stone house has a private gated entrance manned 24/7. It's also perfect for a little honky-tonk action. Party in the grand public rooms, sumptuous suites and expansive outdoor living areas ... where you'll find a pool, pool house, outdoor kitchen and terraces.

No barn here, but those with lots of horsepower should get a load of the heated and cooled garages ... big enough for 15 whips. Saddle up!!!

Lil Nas X, Reese, Gigi, Willie CMA Awards is a Hollywood Magnet

Hollywood and Anytown, USA collided for the 53rd annual CMA Awards ... and they blended perfectly.

Gigi Hadid, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman were on hand Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Gigi hung out with Kacey Musgraves, who performed with Willie Nelson. Kacey also brought home some hardware as Female Vocalist of the Year and for Music Video of the Year for her song "Rainbow" off her "Golden Hour" album.

Gwen Stefani was arm in arm with Blake Shelton, who won Single of the Year with "God's Country." Lil Nas X also attended ... and he, along with Billy Ray Cyrus, won Music Event of the Year with the smash hit "Old Town Road."

Reese also announced the winner for Entertainer of the Year ... with Garth Brooks beating out Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Nicole's hubby, Keith Urban.

Luke Combs, who won Best New Artist at last year's event, had another spectacular year ... earning Male Vocalist of the Year and song of the year for his mega-hit "Beautiful Crazy."

Lil Nas X Keep the Horses in Back ... I'm Strictly a 'Panini' Man Now!!!

FORGET OLD TOWN ROAD ...
TMZ.com

Lil Nas X is doing everything he can to change his tune, so don't even TRY to talk to him about the biggest #1 song of all time -- 'cause if you do, he's got a one-word answer for you.

We got Lil Nas Thursday night outside NYC's Soho Grand Hotel and asked him about securing a CMA nomination this week for "Old Town Road." You'd think it's kind of a big deal -- getting a nod for Musical Event of the Year ... especially considering the country music industry hasn't exactly embraced his monster hit.

But, check out the clip ... Lil Nas seemed to downplay the achievement.

As for why the man who just had the #1 song in the country for a record-setting 19 weeks doesn't wanna talk about it? Seems he's fully on to the next. Watch the clip and count how many times he says "Panini" ... his follow-up track to "Old Town Road."

Fact is, no one sets out to be a one-hit wonder, and LNX is working overtime to make sure he doesn't end up in that category. We've got 2 words for him: smart businessman.

And, there's a shout-out here for Joe Jonas. Sorry Joe, you're gonna have to do a different remix if ya wanna get with Lil Nas.

CMT Music Awards Honoring Women of Country ... Huge Surprise Ensemble In The Works!!!

Country stars Brandi Carlile and Tanya Tucker will take the stage together tonight at the CMT Music Awards, but the girl power will only grow from there ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the show tell us ... during Carlile and Tucker's performance of the latter's 1972 hit, "Delta Dawn," the ladies will be joined on stage one-by-one by 6 more popular female artists -- a mix of country legends and rising stars.

We're told it's CMT's tribute to the power of women in country music, and the special guest performers will include Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Lauren Alaina, Deana Carter, Rae Lynn and Carly Pearce.

Our sources say the ladies will join in on "Delta Dawn," but we imagine they'll put their own spin on it ... and it's certain to be a showstopper.

Brandi and Tanya's collab comes on the heels of Carlile producing Tucker's upcoming album, "While I'm Livin" ... her first new music in 17 years.

The CMT Music Awards air live Wednesday night from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville at 8 PM ET.

2018 CMA Awards Dedicated To Thousand Oaks Shooting Victims

NEVER FORGET
ABC

Garth Brooks opened the 2018 Country Music Awards with a dedication to the 12 people who were shot dead last week in the horrific massacre at a country bar in California.

Garth began the evening by lovingly dedicating the award show to the dozen people who were killed at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks during last week's College Country Night.

Garth told the audience the show would celebrate the lives of the men and women who were shot dead, and asked everyone to let music unite them in love in their enduring memory.

After Garth's opening words, there was a moment of silence as the names of the 12 victims were shown on screen.

CMA Awards Take Playful Jab at Trump In Carrie Underwood Parody Song

BEFORE HE TWEETS
ABC

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood kicked off the 51st Annual CMA Awards with a heartfelt message to all the victims of recent tragedies in the U.S. ... and a song poking fun at President Trump's Twitter habit.

After sarcastically mentioning to the audience they were directed to steer clear of political commentary ... Paisley and Underwood fired off some play-it-safe jokes about Anthony Scaramucci, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

But right as Carrie seemed to be moving into the first award of the night ... Brad rocked a "Before He Cheats" spoof that took a few jabs at the Prez. Remember covfefe? They sure do.

Before the parody tune, Paisley and Underwood dedicated the night's ceremony to victims of the mass shootings in Vegas and Texas, attacks in Charlottesville and NYC, and all the recent natural disasters.

PEACEFUL WORDS
ABC

John Legend I Ain't Mad at the CMA Over Beyonce I Blame American Racism

BLAME AMERICA
TMZ.com

John Legend is letting CMA honchos off the hook for scrubbing any sign of Beyonce from their award show ... 'cause he says racism is bigger than country music.

We got the singer at LAX Friday where he all but stopped short of saying country music itself has an issue with race. He clearly feels it's a problem affecting about half the country, regardless of genre.

COUNTRY GIRL
ABC

Rose McGowan CMA Bosses ... 'A Bunch of Chicken S***s'

NO BACK BONE
TMZ.com

Rose McGowan is disgusted at the people who posted racist comments about Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks, but she's even more pissed off at the CMA honchos who bowed to the "deplorables" by scrubbing CMAWorld.com of all things Bey and Chicks.

Rose is reacting to the TMZ story ... the CMA bosses panicked when they saw some users lash out against Beyonce and the Chicks in the comment section of the site and on social media ... some calling Bey the n-word and others saying country music is for white folks only.

The CMAs have flip-flopped a second time ... reposting some of the items.

Beyonce, Dixie Chicks Scrubbed from CMA Website, Social Media After Racist Fans Comment

2:45 PM PT -- The CMAs have started repopulating its social media with images of Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks. The images were only posted AFTER they became aware we were working on the story.

Even the Dixie Chicks, who rarely say anything in the media these days, are reacting to the controversy on Twitter.

Those reposted images of Bey on Instagram and Twitter are already getting blasted with comments -- some racist and some in support of Beyonce. We'll say this ... the Beyhive is woke.

The folks at the Country Music Awards don't have the stomach for 4 strong women, 1 of whom is black, because they have scrubbed all references and images of Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks from their website.

The performance of Beyonce's hit, "Daddy Lessons," with the Dixie Chicks was by all rights the highlight of the show. Thursday morning Bey and the Chicks had a prominent presence on CMAWorld.com. But check it out now ... it's gone ... completely.

Sources directly connected with the CMAs tell TMZ, the honchos folded to fans who posted racist and other harsh comments. We're told the honchos were especially concerned about the reaction to Beyonce's support and the support of the Dixie Chicks for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some of the comments included, "That's right folks. Beyonce performed at the CMAs last night & is on a mission to take country music away from us, hardworking white people!" And, "Beyonce overrated racist n***er bitch."

The comments go on ... "@Beyonce the cop hater? No thanks," and, "What place does @Beyonce who vilifies police officers who keep us safe have to do with #CMAawards50?"

In addition to its website, the CMAs have scrubbed the women from all social media platforms. They did not delete the women from Snapchat ... they only deleted the ladies from CMA accounts where users can place comments.

We're told the CMA people "just want this to go away" and feel it was probably a mistake to invite the 4 women in the first place.

COUNTRY GIRL
ABC

CMA Awards 2016 It Got All Glittery Up in There!!!

The Brothers Osborne were embraced Wednesday at the 50th CMA Awards ... but guess who wasn't? -- Brooks Brothers.

No boring duds for these stars ... it was all glitter and yellow and boots for Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood ... and, of course, Dolly Parton ... who snagged the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

BTW ... a true Sophie's Choice for country fans ... CMAs or World Series.

J.J. Watt to Carrie Underwood: You Married a Hockey Player???

SHOWDOWN
CMT

J.J. Watt threatening to fight Carrie Underwood's hockey player husband??? That happened ... sorta.

It was all part of Watt's big comedy bit at the CMT Music Awards Wednesday night -- when Watt jokingly hit on a bunch of hot married famous chicks ... including Carrie. It culminated in a funny standoff with Mike Fisher.

Watt was actually pretty good as a co-host ... considering hosting's not really his day job.

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