The cancellation of concerts and performances in all genres has cast quite a damper on entertainment worldwide for live music fans. For those of us in Music City, this is even more true as the absence of the community’s constant art source has been impactful to us and the tourists who love visiting for some of the on-stage magic. During this week in November, it’s particularly missed not only by fans and residents but by the artists who join us in looking forward to the ceremonies of honoring the best and brightest at award celebrations at SESAC, ASCAP, BMI, and especially CMA’s big night. While the award show broadcast on ABC was still possible, the experience of enjoying the traditions of red carpet fashions, after party ensembles, and on-stage theatrics in person was greatly missed.
As a music industry insider wife, I know that we all view this week as a bit of a reunion. It’s a time when everyone comes off the road to gather in one place, with great preparation going into choosing attire for our city’s most celebrated evening. To keep the style spirit alive, we asked a few of the most stylish and influential people typically involved and in attendance to share their memories of the best-dressed individuals from over the years. These – as well as having our own Jami-lyn Hall choose some fashion favorites from the virtual event held this week are just a taste of how much style in Nashville and Country Music has evolved.
Former model turned national television broadcast and podcast personality that always dazzles as she interviews stars from red carpets and backstage.
Faith Hill, 2014 – She was stunning in the black dress by Naeem Khan.
Taylor Swift, 2008 – Taylor always brings a wow factor to the carpet. Her height, carriage, and shape are ideal for showcasing designer fashions. I adored her red gown from 2013, but this silver Kaufman Franco column was such a stunner with all of the cameras flashing her way.
Hannah Brown, 2019 – The Bachelorette star brought fresh style to country music in an elaborate Atelier Zuhra mock-neck white dotted ball gown. Incredible!
Maren Morris, 2016 – -First time nominee and the big winner of the night, she got lots of attention from the media in her sparkling, mermaid-style gown.
Music influencer, sound and talent manager, expert, and writer.
Kacey Musgraves, 2018 – Kacey looked commanding in full Versace black throw-back style suit had an incredible edge. She sets trends instead of following them. The look must have been lucky because she took home the CMA Album of the Year award.
Taylor Swift, 2011 and Loretta Lynn, 1972 – These two trailblazers have the same intensity in their eyes that exudes quiet confidence in their looks from these particular years, and they were 40 years apart! Most importantly, it’s evident to me that they are utilizing fashion to capture an audience for the music they create.
The Hosting Trio, 2019 – Reba, Dolly, and Carrie have been putting Nashville on the global ‘star-power’ map for decades for style and beauty as well as music. While I love studying the latest fashion trends, I admire artists who are bold enough to own exactly who they are, and these three are an incredible example of females doing it right.
Online influencer, wife of Charles Kelley, and style maven.
Lady A, 2019 – The brilliant designers from Dolce & Gabbana outfitted the entire band in luxurious styles for this carpet, and I loved it! (they dressed the spouses, too, and my dress was amazing).
Kacey Musgraves, 2014 – I was crazy about her black Versace (like Anastasia, above). Still, I really appreciated the originality of her ‘Big Hair Moment’ that she paired with this elegant Oscar de la Renta gown.
CMA award-winning video, film, and production director
Taylor Swift, 2013 – I will NEVER forget Taylor in this red Elie Saab Haute Couture gown. I ran into her backstage, and she was so gorgeous – she literally took my breath away.
Little Big Town- Kimberly and Karen always seem to get it right. I think it’s worth noting that they somehow manage to maintain their individual styles while also looking incredible together with the band on the stage and red carpet.
Miranda Lambert, 2014 – This look she rocked totally knocked me out. It had a bit of an Old Hollywood glamour movie star vibe that reminded me of Jean Harlow or Carole Lombard. Her hair, makeup, and accessories were all just perfect, and the soft color was ultra-feminine.
Hair and makeup artist, owner Parlour 3 group salons, and Carrie Underwood’s exclusive glamour provider.
Loretta Lynn Tribute, 2019 – Of course, I always take pride in helping Carrie look her best throughout every show – but there is one moment from last year when I was blown away at how beautiful and strong the women of country music looked on stage. During the opener of the 2019 awards, there was a big group doing medley mixes of big hits from female artists, including hosts Reba, Dolly, and Carrie. I felt that the combination of Jennifer Nettles along with Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town singing a tribute to Loretta Lynn was especially triumphant. They were all three impeccably styled and I love that they were honoring Loretta, as I worked with her for such a long time and treasure those experiences.
Photos courtesy Country Music Association | #cmaawards | @cma.