Everybody’s always looking forward to nights and events where their favorite country stars are recognized through honoring their beautiful works and contributions to the country music industry. But sometimes, it’s not just the big wins that make such prestigious nights more memorable.

Every year, people are also anticipating the occurrence of major, unprepared for surprises that liven up the event. In the course of country music history, even our legendary artists have had their share of controversial and out of the ordinary awarding moments.

Here are some of them:

5. Reba McEntire’s Wardrobe Malfunction

Reba McEntire left the audience in shock and the producers abuzz with additional work to do during the
telecast for the 1993 CMA Awards. The smokin’ hot red gown she wore while she performed Does He Love You left her cleavage bare and open for the whole world to see. Shots of her cleavage had to be censored, and Kris Kristofferson almost had a heart attack. Later on, McEntire revealed that she had put on the dress backward. Perhaps it was to add ten times more drama to her overall look?

  1. Brooks and Dunn’s Huge Win

The highly acclaimed country duo dominated a slew of country music awards by taking home a total of over 27 trophies in all the years that they have been nominated for their great music. In 1992, they earned their first awards, namely the Vocal Duo of the Year and Top New Vocal Duo of the Year. Brooks and Dunn have won the said award for 16 times, and they also hold the record for the highest number of ACM wins.  Other awards they’ve bagged home are Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Video of the Year, Vocal Event of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year.

  1. Alan Jackson’s 1994 ACM Awards Protest

Alan Jackson showed producers what they get when they try to convince him to perform with a pre-recorded track. Prior to his performance, he was told that he would have to perform to a track that has been pre-recorded, something that left Jackson extremely uncomfortable and unamused. He believed that doing so was equivalent to slapping his fans and the audience right in the face with a big, fat lie. As such, he showed his protest by telling his drummer to perform without drumsticks.

  1. Charlie Rich Starts a Blazing Scandal

Having won the Entertainer of the Year award in 1974, Charlie Rich was tasked to present the award for the succeeding winner in 1975. When he was about to announce the name of the said award’s recipient, he first read the name to himself. There was a moment of silence as he mentally read the note before he took out a lighter and set the piece of paper on fire. Then, Rich stormed off the stage. The winner then was John Denver, who had no idea about the scandal that transpired prior to his awarding. Meanwhile, Rich later explained that he was on prescription medication, while also under the influence of gin and tonic at the time of the awarding. The CMA Awards blacklisted Charlie Rich from attending any of their future events, leading to a dramatic drop in the artist’s record sales.

  1. Loretta Lynn Becomes First Female Recipient of Entertainer of the Year

The lovely Loretta Lynn paved the way for many of her fellow female country artists when she bagged the 1972 Entertainer of the Year award. Lynn was also the first female singer to win Female Vocalist of the Year. Winning such huge awards had always been a struggle and a seemingly fleeting opportunity for the women of country music, and Loretta Lynn’s big win was a perfect example of the recognition that all female country artists so well deserve but are often times deprived of.