Beyonce, baseball and Dolly _ key moments at the CMA Awards

Indeed, the night's most-hyped moment had Beyoncé joining the Dixie Chicks for a spirited, totally assured rendition of her rootsy "Daddy Lessons" (plus a bit of their "Long Time Gone").

"I don't know if everybody else here felt that", he said.

The legend that is Dolly Parton was honoured with the prestigious Willie Nelson lifetime achievement award.

Entertainer of the Year - Garth Brooks.

"It's been nearly 13 years since I came to Nashville with a dream of being a songwriter and a recording artist", Swift told the crowd.

Male vocalist of the year - Chris Stapleton.

Beyonce performs on stage with Martie Maguire of Dixie Chicks at the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena.

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None of the night's performers or presenters used their screen time to make any overt political mentions.

Brooks closed out the show by accepting the big award from fellow superstar Taylor Swift.

Carrie Underwood accepts the award for female vocalist of the year at the 50th Annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, November 3, 2016.

"I would have cried, but I didn't want to mess up my eyelashes", Parton said.

The Vocal Duo of the Year Award went to Brothers Osborne.

"When I think about what this means to me.it means connections with a lot of people", Chesney said.

Morris earned acclaim for "My Church", from her freshman album, Hero, released earlier this year.

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"It's been nearly 13 years since I came to Nashville with a dream of being a songwriter and a recording artist", she continued.

Underwood, 33, and Paisley, 44, then arrived onstage to deliver their opening monologue, which, of course, included references to the upcoming USA presidential election on 8 November.

The only possible nod in an acceptance speech came from Chris Stapleton who used a Hillary Clinton slogan when he said, "I tell you, it takes a village", as he ran down a laundry list of thank yous while being pushed out by exit music. Female Vocalist of the Year went to Carrie Underwood for the fourth time while Little Big Town won Vocal Group of the Year for the fifth consecutive year.

Song of the Year (songwriter's award) - "Humble and Kind", Lori McKenna (recorded by Tim McGraw).

He also expressed appreciation for the Country Music Awards, saying the CMAs were "sweet" and that it has been a "wonderful ride".

Just before presenting Dolly with an award for a lifetime of achievement, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Kacey Musgraves, Jennifer Nettles, and Carrie Underwood sang a touching tribute to the "Jolene" singer and it was awesome.

"Good Morning America" co-anchor Lara Spencer caught up with the big winners backstage, including Thomas Rhett who won Single of the Year for his song "Die a Happy Man".

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