- 11:35 p.m. Eastern: Luke Bryan speaks to the media backstage after winning Entertainer of the Year.
- (On the big wins for Little Big Town and Chris Stapleton)
Luke Bryan: "You’re talking about a group there that has worked for years. And Stapleton is no different. Karen [Fairchild] is one of the finest vocalists on the planet."
(On both of his career CMA Award wins being in the Entertainer of the Year category)
Bryan: "I can deal with that. I’m cool. Would I love to win a male vocalist, a single or song of the year? Of course. But I think those moments will come."
(On fellow nominee Garth Brooks)
Bryan: "Garth rewrote the book on entertainment and he caught a lot of flack for that. But he truly changed the game for how a country music entertainer entertains. He worked his butt off this year doing double shows. Everybody nominated is working hard."
- 11:15 p.m. Eastern: Chris Stapleton talks to media after winning three CMA Awards.
- (On winning three awards during the show)
Chris Stapleton: "It’s surreal. Very unbelievable. I don’t have enough adjectives to get there. I feel very loved. I didn’t even think I’d be nominated for anything tonight, let alone win one, or two, or three of them. To get to do this tonight — and the way that we did it — is a crazy thing."
(On people preferring his style of country music over commercial-sounding acts)
Stapleton: "I don’t feel like music is a war, or a battle. People have the tendency to make it into that. If you don’t like a certain kind of music, that’s fine, it’s not for you. Nobody gets anywhere by hating on somebody else’s music. It doesn’t make any sense to me."
(On whom he listened to growing up)
Stapleton: “Waylon, Willie, Ray Charles and Aretha,”
- 11:05 p.m. Eastern: Little Big Town speaks to media backstage after winning CMA Awards for Single of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year.
- (On "Girl Crush")
Kimberly Schlapman: "I gasped when I realized what this song was actually about. These three women got together and wrote a once-in-a-lifetime song."
(On doing more serious music)
Karen Fairchild: "We want to get to the heart, the substance on our records and we don’t always get to. Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, you don’t always hear that music on the radio, but I think the tide is turning."
AFTER THE SHOW
Entertainer of the Year - Luke Bryan
Male Vocalist of the Year - Chris Stapleton
- 10:43 p.m. Eastern: Rebe McEntire and Brooks & Dunn perform a pair of hits: "Why Haven't I Heard From You," "Play Something Country."
- 10:37 p.m. Eastern: "I needed a bright spot this year." - Miranda Lambert after winning for Female Vocalist of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year - Miranda Lambert (her sixth win in the category)
- 10:32 p.m. Eastern: Dierks Bentley performs "Riser."
- 10:30 p.m. Eastern: T.K. McKamy, director of the CMA Award winner for music video of the year ("Girl in a Country Song") speaks to the media backstage
- (On working with a then-unknown Maddie & Tae)
T.K. McKamy: "They were so green, they had no idea it took that many people to make a video."
(On his vision for the "Girl in a Country Song" music video)
McKamy: "I knew that if I got to do it my way, it would cause a stir and go viral. I think this is a great story and one that people wanted to see. It was one of those videos that pushes the limits for county."
- 10:24 p.m. Eastern: Kacey Musgraves performs "Dimestore Cowgirl" in front of a lively LCD backdrop that includes images of rainbows and unicorns.
- 10:19 p.m. Eastern: Jason Aldean performs "Gonna Know We Were Here," on a stage loaded with pyro effects.