CMT Debuts ’40 Greatest Fashion Statements’

Cash, Chicks and Shoulder Pads

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Country music has its own style, and proudly wears it on its sleeve — right beside the rhinestones, of course.

CMT’s new special 40 Greatest Fashion Statements salutes country music’s trendsetters and the crazes that are immediately identified with Nashville’s finest.

Not everybody’s a country fan, of course, but even if you can’t hum “The Gambler,” you know what Kenny Rogers’ hair looks like (and has looked like for the last few decades).
You know that Faith Hill’s satin sheets and Tim McGraw’s furry chest are almost as famous as their music. Besides, who can forget Daisy Duke in her short shorts? And who would like to forget the image of Conway Twitty wearing his?

A number of country stars — including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Deana Carter and Cledus T. Judd — talk about their favorite fads, from belt buckles to personalized guitars. Stand-up comedians and fashion queens relive the highs and lows of big hair, Dixie Chicks and Urban Cowboy. Even Minnie Pearl’s straw hat gets its due.

The two-hour special also gives props to Stringbean, who unknowingly paved the way for today’s youth culture and its baggy pants. Alabama, Garth Brooks, Crystal Gayle, George Jones, Tanya Tucker and Kitty Wells are all recognized for their contribution to country couture, and no fashion special about country music would be complete without a mention of the infamous mullet of Billy Ray Cyrus.

Of course, sometimes the biggest fashion statement means wearing nothing at all. That’s the case with Keith Urban, who stripped down to six strings for a Playgirl photo shoot.

“I didn’t know Playgirl existed,” Urban says in the special. “I mean, come on. What a crazy magazine. You can ask a fellow to drop his clothing and he will. Come on girls, you really don’t need a magazine.”

He adds, “Here’s a tip everyone: If you’re going to bring that magazine to a show, earmark the page. Don’t go thumbing through it looking for my picture. That’s embarrassing.”