Shane McAnally, Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town), Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Jimi Westbrook (Little Big Town), and Phillip Sweet (Little Big Town)
Country’s finest gathered at the CMA Awards nominees dinner at House of Cards in Nashville on Monday night. Garth Brooks, who has reigned as the CMA Entertainer of the Year for two straight years, looked like the unofficial host of the soiree.
Shane McAnally and Garth Brooks
“We’re all family, this awards show brings us all together so we all celebrate one night…we are all one, Country Music,” Brooks said while making a toast at the dinner.
CMA Awards Nominees
The dinner brought together a whole range of country artists nominated for this year’s awards show, which will be hosted for an 11th consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, and air live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 14 on ABC.
Songwriter Shane McAnally is a nominee for Song of the Year, thanks to his work on Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road.”
Shane McAnally with husband Michael Baum
Over the course of the evening, nominees were invited to take part in magic tricks set up at tables like this one.
Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) with wife Cassie Kelley
In addition to the magic tricks set up at tables, the Nashville venue also hosted two magic shows in its theater.
Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum)
Kelley was at the dinner representing his band Lady Antebellum, which is nominated for Vocal Group of the Year.
Dan + Shay
The musical duo of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney are nominated for three awards this year, including Vocal Duo of the Year.
Dan Smyers (Dan + Shay), Nicolle Galyon, and Jordan Reynolds
These three songwriters share a Song of the Year nomination for their work on “Tequila” by Dan + Shay.
On top of her nomination for “Tequila,” Galyon has worked with several of this year’s nominated artists in the past, including Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban.
Galyon was previously nominated for Song of the Year in 2014, thanks to her work on Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic.”
Bentley — who is up for three CMA Awards including Album of the Year (The Mountain), Male Vocalist of the Year, and Musical Event of the Year (“Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley Feat. Brothers Osborne) — also made sure to attend the soiree.
Luke Combs is nominated for two awards: Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year.
David Lee Murphy with wife Donna Murphy
David Lee Murphy’s duet with Kenny Chesney, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” is nominated for Musical Event of the Year.
Songwriter Jimmy Robins has penned songs for several of this year’s nominees, including Dan + Shay.
Josh Kerr was a producer on Keith Urban’s Graffiti U, which is nominated for Album of the Year.