CMA Awards 2022 recap: Inside the biggest performances, tributes and wins

The biggest names in country music assembled Wednesday night for the 56th annual Country Music Association Awards.

This year's ceremony was co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning and held at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Luke Combs was the big winner of the night, taking home the top award for entertainer of the year.

MORE: CMA Awards 2022: See the complete winners list

Other notable wins included Chris Stapleton, who won male vocalist of the year, and Lainey Wilson, who won female vocalist of the year as well as new artist of the year. Old Dominion and Brothers Osborne also won big, taking home vocal group of the year and vocal duo of the year, respectively.

Combs also won album of the year for "Growin' Up," while Cody Johnson took home single of the year for "Til You Can't" and Jordan Davis' "Buy Dirt" won him song of the year.

Keep reading for more of the biggest moments from the 2022 CMA Awards.

Stars show up in their red carpet best on country music's biggest night

Before the show kicked off, country music stars and more lit up the red carpet in their best looks.

Stars like Ashley McBryde, Wynonna Judd, Jessica Chastain and Jessie James Decker opted for sparkle for the event, while John Osborne, Lainey Wilson and Lisa Parigi rocked suede to match the fall season.

MORE: CMA Awards 2022: Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and more take the red carpet

Another common theme on the red carpet was metallic colors, which were worn by Thomas Rhett's wife Lauren Akins, and Reba McEntire.

PHOTO: Carrie Underwood attends The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 9, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Carrie Underwood attends The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 9, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Carrie Underwood's Cinderella-inspired gown turned heads. The "Denim & Rhinestones" singer stepped out on the red carpet in a light blue gown with a high slit and matching pale blue pumps.

See all the red carpet fashion here.

Paying tribute to Loretta Lynn

The show began by showing a clip of Loretta Lynn accepting the top award for entertainer of the year at the 1972 CMA Awards -- the first time a woman won the coveted trophy.

To pay tribute to the country music legend, a trio of iconic performers took to the stage to perform some of Lynn's biggest hits: Carrie Underwood sang "You Ain't Woman Enough," Miranda Lambert sang "Don't Come Home a Drinkin' " and Reba McEntire sang "You're Lookin at Country." They then took on Lynn's most iconic song, "Coal Miner's Daughter," together.

PHOTO: Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert perform onstage at The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 9, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert perform onstage at The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 9, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

MORE: CMA Awards 2022: Watch Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire pay tribute to Loretta Lynn

Later in the show, Carly Pearce performed her song "Dear Miss Loretta."

"I never met Loretta -- always wished I would've -- but I wrote this song in tribute to her because I so admire everything about her, especially how she wrote about her life, unapologetically," Pearce said. "Loretta, this is for you."

Lynn died on Oct. 4 at the age of 90.

A music-filled night filled with epic performances

While awards are one reason to tune in, another major draw of the show is a chance to see some of the biggest country singers perform -- after all, it's called "country music's biggest night" for a reason.

Giving us some '90s nostalgia, Cole Swindell performed "She Had Me at Heads Carolina," before he was joined by Jo Dee Messina to duet her 1996 hit "Heads Carolina, Tails California." Swindell's song is heavily inspired by Messina's debut single.

Other musical collaborations throughout the night included Thomas Rhett and Katy Perry, who sang their song "Where We Started"; Hardy and Lainey Wilson, who sang their song "wait in the truck"; Kelsea Ballerini, Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce, who sang their song "You're Drunk, Go Home"; and Patty Loveless, Chris Stapleton and wife Morgane Stapleton, performing "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive."

Elsewhere, The War and Treaty and Brothers Osborne performed The Rolling Stones' "It's Only Rock 'n Roll" while Elle King and The Black Keys performed Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire."

PHOTO: Elle King performs 'Great Balls of Fire' during a tribute to the late Jerry Lee Lewis during the 56th Annual CMA Awards on Nov. 9, 2022, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.  (Mark Humphrey/Invision via AP)
PHOTO: Elle King performs 'Great Balls of Fire' during a tribute to the late Jerry Lee Lewis during the 56th Annual CMA Awards on Nov. 9, 2022, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Humphrey/Invision via AP)

Solo performances included Miranda Lambert with "Geraldene," Carrie Underwood with "Hate My Heart," Luke Combs with "The Kind of Love We Make," Luke Bryan with "Country On" and Morgan Wallen with "You Proof."

Wynonna Judd makes first CMA Awards appearance since mom Naomi's death

Wynonna Judd took to the stage to present the award for vocal duo of the year, marking her first CMA Awards appearance since the tragic death of her mom, country legend Naomi Judd, in April. The mother-daughter duo, known as The Judds, won this award seven times previously.

"In death there is life, and here I am," Judd said upon taking the stage. "Thank you for your love and your support. These past six months have been a time to grieve and a time to be grateful, and I am humbled and honored tonight to still have a seat at the table of country music."

Taking home the trophy this year were Brothers Osborne, consisting of T.J. and John Osborne. This is the siblings' fifth time winning in the category.

PHOTO: John Osborne, Wynonna Judd and T.J. Osborne speak onstage at The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 9, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Terry Wyatt/WireImage via Getty Images)
PHOTO: John Osborne, Wynonna Judd and T.J. Osborne speak onstage at The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 9, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Terry Wyatt/WireImage via Getty Images)

"To be here tonight and then to be in the presence of Wynonna while winning this award will be one of the biggest highlights of my entire life," T.J. Osborne said. "This is so crazy to me."

"It's an absolute honor," John Osborne said, echoing that sentiment. "We have learned so much from you and your family."

John Osborne then revealed onstage that his wife Lucie Silvas is pregnant with twins, the couple's first children together. "I love you, babe," he said. "You're going to be an amazing mom."

Alan Jackson's impact on country music celebrated

Alan Jackson received the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award during Wednesday night's show.

"Country music's been real good to me, and I fell in love with it when I was a young man," the Country Music Hall of Fame member said while accepting the award.

"I've just been such a fan of this music, and I wanted to come to Nashville and try to carry it on -- the kind that I loved," he continued. "As my mama would say, I'm so blessed, and I have been so blessed. I've had a great team around me my whole career that have helped me and great songwriters and just I've been so fortunate to have all that to help me get this far."

PHOTO: Alan Jackson, winner of the Willie Nelson lifetime achievement award, performs 'Don't Rock the Jukebox' during the 56th Annual CMA Awards on Nov. 9, 2022, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Humphrey/Invision via AP)
PHOTO: Alan Jackson, winner of the Willie Nelson lifetime achievement award, performs 'Don't Rock the Jukebox' during the 56th Annual CMA Awards on Nov. 9, 2022, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Humphrey/Invision via AP)

To celebrate Jackson, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Carrie Underwood and Lainey Wilson took the stage for a tribute performance that included many of Jackson's most famous hits.

Underwood kicked off the tribute with Jackson's classic "Remember When." Bentley then took over to perform Jackson's "Chattahoochee," Pardi belted out Jackson's "Drive (For Daddy Gene)" and Wilson sang Jackson's "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow."

Jackson then took over and got the crowd dancing with a performance of his hit, "Don't Rock the Jukebox."

Previous winners of the prestigious CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award include Nelson, whom the award is named after, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Charley Pride and Loretta Lynn.

CMA Awards 2022 recap: Inside the biggest performances, tributes and wins originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com