2017 CMA Awards Opens With Darius Rucker, Keith Urban & Lady Antebellum Singing Hootie & The Blowfish

The 2017 CMAs opened the show on Wednesday night the best way they know how — with a little love and tenderness. 

The country music community, which was rocked by tragedy following the Las Vegas shootings during the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas and the tragic loss of musician Troy Gentry this year, kicked off the award show with a subtle and soft rendition of "Amazing Grace" performed by Eric Church. The touching song appeared to be a tribute to the country community. 

 

51st Annual CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 08: Eric Church performs onstage at the 51st annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

As Church finished his song, Darius Rucker and Keith Urban then took the stage and kicked into a rendition of Darius' hit song from his Hootie & The Blowfish days, "Hold My Hand." They were then were joined on stage by Lady Antebellum, officially setting the tone for the evening. 

51st Annual CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 08: Keith Urban and Darius Rucker perform onstage at the 51st annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

51st Annual CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 08: Keith Urban and Darius Rucker perform onstage at the 51st annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

As hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley took the stage, they also captured the essence of the night with their opening statements.  

Carrie talked about the tragedies across the United States from the shootings over the weekend in Texas to the Route 91 shooting in Las Vegas to the devastation from the hurricanes in Texas and Florida. 

"This has been a year marked by tragedy, impacting countless lives including so many in our country music community.  Tonight, we're going to do what families do. Come together, pray together, cry together, and sing together too," Carrie shared.  

"The best way to honor our fans is to play our music, loud and proud," Brad Paisley added. "Tonight is dedicated to all this we've lost and all those are still healing. We love you and we will never forget you."

51st Annual CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 08: Co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood speak onstage at the 51st annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage) (Getty Images)

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