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Randy Travis steals the show with emotional performance at the CMAs

The 2016 CMA Awards are over, but country music's biggest night won't be forgotten thanks to some truly amazing moments.

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Peyton Manning sings with Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood at CMA Awards

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Peyton Manning sings with Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood at CMA Awards

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Randy Travis claimed the first and best showstopper of the 50th anniversary event when he took the stage and stole the spotlight by singing just one word.

Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images
In a moving moment, Randy Travis sang the last line of the opening medley at the 50th annual CMA Awards on Nov. 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Travis, who suffered a debilitating stroke three years ago, stood alongside legends Charley Pride, Reba McEntire, Charlie Daniels and more as they ended the evening's opening medley with his hit "Forever and Ever, Amen." But it was Travis who had the last word — by singing the final "amen" to a cheering audience.

RELATED: Randy Travis stuns at Country Music Hall of Fame with 'Amazing Grace' performance

That brief performance set a high bar for the evening, and these memorable moments maintained it:

Hello, Dolly!

Dolly Parton received a well-earned Lifetime Achievement Award Wednesday night — and heaps of praise from her peers.

Evan Agostini / AP
Dolly Parton received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award following a star-studded tribute.

Parton's "9 to 5" co-star, Lily Tomlin, told the crowd that "Dolly is country music," and McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles and Pentatonix proved it by belting out her hits.


Beyoncé may not be the first name that comes to mind when fans think of country, but the pop and R&B superstar established her place in the genre.

Rick Diamond / Getty Images
Beyonce wowed the country music crowd with a performance alongside the Dixie Chicks.

She put on a heel-kicking performance of her track "Daddy Lessons" with the Dixie Chicks.

Alright, alright, alright

The star-studded night even saw Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey hit the stage to present an award, but he put on a performance of his own in the audience.

The actor couldn't keep his boots still for that "Daddy Lessons" number.


Taylor Swift made an unannounced appearance that stunned the crowd.

Charles Sykes / AP
Taylor Swift made a surprise appearance at the Bridgestone Arena Wednesday.

The two-time Entertainer of the Year Award winner presented this year's award to Garth Brooks.

RELATED: 'Forever Country' brings singers from past and present together for epic video

Feel the love

Brooks didn't simply accept an award at the CMAs — he and wife Trisha Yearwood delivered a love letter to fans — with a medley of heart-tugging country classics.

Charles Sykes / AP
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood made sure everyone felt the love at the CMA Awards.

From "Golden Ring" to "Rose Garden" to "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man," the couple made beautiful music together.

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