WATCH: Alabama stuns a CMA Festival audience with an unforgettable performance and emotional award acceptance

The legendary band presented a surprise variety and was honored with a special award.

CMA Fest attendees were shocked when the legendary band, Alabama, took to the stage at Nissan Stadium.

The surprise hit from the nine-time CMA Award winners included performances of “Mountain Music”, a medley of “Dixieland Delight” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”.

During the unexpected set, the band surprised themselves with a CMA Pinnacle award in a special presentation from CMA Fest host Dierks Bentley.

“They have over 40 number-one songs, 75 million albums sold, three top artists of the year, and the first band to play on football fields,” Bentley said from the stage. “They are the most successful band in country music. So, to recognize that achievement, we’re going to hand it to Alabama tonight. This is the CMA’s Pinnacle Award.”

The remaining members of Alabama, Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, looked emotional as they embraced and accepted the award.

Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry of Alabama; Photo by Andrew Windowski

“On behalf of our late cousin, Mr. Jeff Cook, whom we recently lost, on behalf of me and Teddy, the entire Alabama squad, thank you all for letting us play for you for over 50 years,” Owen shared.

Previous winners of the CMA Pinnacle Award include Garth Brooks (2005), Taylor Swift (2013), and Kenny Chesney (2016).

According to the Country Music Association, the Pinnacle Award is given to the artist or group that has undoubtedly redefined the pinnacle of success in the genre by achieving prominence through concert performances, consumption numbers, record sales, and/or other significant industry achievements at levels unique to the country. music. They have also achieved the highest degree of recognition within the broad scope of music throughout the world, and their talent and presence will have a positive long-term impact on the appreciation of country music for generations to come.

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Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry of Alabama;  Photo by Andrew Windowski
Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry of Alabama; Photo by Andrew Windowski

The three-hour CMA Fest special was hosted by Dierks Bentley, Elle King, and Lainey Wilson and aired on ABC on Wednesday, July 19.

Dubbed the “Summer Musical Event,” it featured more than 30 surprise performances and collaborations from some of country music’s hottest stars, including Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Jordan Davis, Vince Gill, The Hardy, Tyler Hubbard, Jelly Roll, Cody Johnson, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Avril Lavigne, Little Big Town, Ashley McBride, Reba McIntyre, Tim McGraw, Joe De Messina, Old Dominion, John Pardee, Carly Pierce, Darius Rucker, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban, and Lanie Wilson.

Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley, and Elle King.;  Photo by ABC/Robby Klein
Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley, and Elle King.; Photo by ABC/Robby Klein

CMA Fest featured him 50th anniversary With a record breaking celebration in Nashville, from June 8th to June 11th.

The four-day event hosted an estimated daily attendance of more than 90,000, up 12% from 2022, according to the Country Music Association. In addition, Nissan’s stadium night parties have grown by 10% from 2022.

The festival has also hosted fans from all 50 states as well as a record-breaking 51 countries.

Dierks Bentley, Elle King, Lenny Wilson;  Image courtesy CMA/ABC
Dierks Bentley, Elle King, Lenny Wilson; Image courtesy CMA/ABC

“What a weekend! As we’ve spent the past year reflecting on this historic celebration, one theme has lingered — the amazing relationship between country music fans and artists,” CMA CEO Sarah Trayrn shared in a statement. “It’s magical because it still matters after all these years. From rookies to legends, many artists started out as fans—some going back as a fan fair. Almost every artist during the festival had their own experience as a fan, so for many of them, stepping onto the stage at CMA is Fest is a complete moment. We get the chance to celebrate our 50th Anniversary just for once, and to do so in such a poignant way means the world to us. Thanks, country music!”

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More than 300 works participated in it CMA Festival This year, including performances at the Chevy Riverfront Stage, Dr Pepper Amp Stage, Chevy Vibes Stage, Maui Jim Reverb Stage, and Hard Rock Stage also at Fan Fair X inside Music City Center.

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