Party Really Starts After CMA Awards

The Real Fun Begins Once the Closing Credits Roll

Do you think things settled down in Nashville after Luke Bryan’s acceptance speech for entertainer of the year at Wednesday night’s (Nov. 5) CMA Awards ?

Honey, please! That’s when the real party started.

True, the show might have been over, but the celebration was just beginning for every artist and label in town.

I was fortunate enough to experience all the fun at the Warner Music Nashville party, where the glasses were raised in honor of their big winners — Blake Shelton (now a five-time CMA winner for male vocalist of the year) and Brett Eldredge (who was named the CMA’s new artist of the year.)

And, boy, was it a celebration. Eldredge was in the house looking dapper as ever, as were newcomers the Railers, and I’m pretty sure at some point I saw Brooke Hogan, Gloriana’s Tom Gossin and E! host Alicia Quarles mingling with guests, too. Those invited to the private party noshed on delicious steak-and-biscuit bites and incredible little tuna-cornbread concoctions while getting down on the dance floor to the sounds of everything from Prince’s “Kiss” to Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” It was pretty spectacular and, with those white sequined tablecloths, pretty doggone fancy, too.

Across town at the Universal Music Group party, People magazine and other media outlets reported that things were equally as epic, with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood taking the stage with their “cover band” in fun hair-band wigs to regale the crowd with hits like Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” which featured surprise guest Darius Rucker.

Count on Luke Bryan, the CMA’s newest entertainer of the year, to join in on the action, too. He reportedly jumped onstage to join his buddies Kelley and Haywood for a performance of the Commodores’ “Easy” and the Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).”

I’m telling you, parties like these are not for the faint of heart. It requires some planning, preparation and perseverance on your part. But if you ever find yourself on an invite list to such a fantastic function, you must rally. You must go.

Leave the stilettos at home, ladies. Fellas, put on your black-tie finest or your cowboy boots. It doesn’t matter which you choose. Just be yourself and, whatever you do, hit the dance floor and cut loose.

You’ll likely catch your second wind after such an exciting night, then find a happening “after” after-party, which luckily for me, included catching up with great friends at one of the coolest haunts on Music Row and listening to one of my favorites, Charlie Worsham, sing classic country songs.

And that’s about as good as it gets right there.

Check out complete coverage from the 48th annual CMA Awards.
Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.