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CMA Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Star-Studded Concert at Wildhorse Saloon

Stars like Lee Brice, Michael Ray, and RaeLynn took the stage to highlight the organization’s milestone.

Photo by Caitlin Harris/CMA

Happy Birthday, CMA!

The Country Music Association turned the big 6-0 this year, and celebrated this huge milestone in the best way possible — a star-studded concert at Nashville’s famed Wildhorse Saloon in the heart of Downtown.

Featuring over 20 acts performing 60 years of music in just a few hours, the event was truly one to remember. After welcoming remarks from CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah TrahernJeannie Seely kicked off the evening with a stunning performance of “Who Needs You.” Michael Ray and Craig Wayne Boyd performed back-to-back Merle Haggard classics, with Ray singing “Okie from Muskogee” and Boyd singing “The Fighting Side of Me.”

Courtesy of CMA

Halfway to Hazard performed Montgomery Gentry’s “My Town” in a moving tribute to Troy Gentry, while Hilary Williams, daughter of Hank Williams Jr., performed her father’s “Old Habits.” Backstage, Lee Greenwood and Larry, Steve & Rudy, The Gatlin Brothers, sang an impromptu version of Greenwood’s hit “God Bless The U.S.A.,” which the Gatlin Brothers provided background vocals for on the original 1984 recording.

Artists joined Trahern and CMA staff on stage for a birthday toast and sing-a-long rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Lee Brice closed the evening with a stellar performance of Hank Williams Jr.’s “Family Tradition.”

Country artists and Joe Denim and the All-Star Band join CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern and CMA Senior Director of Awards and Industry Relations Brandi Simms to toast CMA’s 60th Anniversary at the Wildhorse Saloon Wednesday, Sept. 26 in Nashville.
Photo credit: Tammie Arroyo/Shutterstock

Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association is the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. The organization, which started with 160 members, has grown to more than 7,400 industry professionals around the world representing every aspect of the business. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world.

CMA deserves to constantly be recognized as a transformational powerhouse in the country music industry, as they promote so many amazing things for music. One of the most important things that CMA carries out is the CMA Foundation, which invests money into public school systems to improve and further music education. Some of our favorite things CMA puts on is obviously CMA Fest, the CMA Awards, CMA Country Christmas and CMA Songwriter Series! It is amazing to see what CMA has done over the past 60 years, and we can only imagine what the next 60 are going to look like!

Written by Isabel Baldinger

Isabel is an intern for Celeb Secrets Country. Originally from New Jersey, she is currently living the dream in Nashville while getting her degree in Music Business from Belmont University. If she is not in class or interviewing artists, she is at a concert, at Hotbox, hanging out with friends, traveling, lounging around at Tin Roof, or eating tacos.

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