Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, And More Honor Alabama
Even though snow and ice was thick on the ground in Nashville last night (1/17) and schools have been closed in the Music City all week, CMT went ahead with their tribute taping to Country Music Hall Of Fame members Alabama as scheduled.
Big stars braved the cold to pay tribute to the supergroup in the special taping of CMT Giants: Alabama. Taking the stage to perform the group’s biggest hits in person were Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan, Riley Green, and Sam Hunt.
After his performance, Aldean sat in the audience at Belmont University’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts to watch all the acts after him. Sitting with his wife Brittany, Aldean was seated close to Riley Green and Sam Hunt, who also took in the show after they performed.
Blake told the crowd watching the show, “Tonight we honor Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and the late Jeff Cook, the undisputed greatest country music band of all-time, Alabama.”
He added, “I know it’s tough not having Jeff here with us, but he lives on in our hearts and in the incredible music you guys created together.”
After a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, Cook died in November of 2022.
The Tennessean reported at the time that Cook battled Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement and causes tremors. He publicly disclosed his diagnosis in 2017. Cook died at his beachside home in Destin, Florida.
After a night of hearing their own songs sung to them by country stars, Evander Holyfield brought Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry to the stage. Before they closed the show with two of their biggest songs, Owen told the standing and cheering crowd, “I had no idea anybody would show up. I didn’t think there would be anybody in the audience. It’s freezing outside, in case you guys didn’t know.” Gentry quipped, “I think it’s our Alaskan fan club here tonight.”
Owen then thanked everyone, adding that in 2005, when they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, they weren’t given a chance to speak at the CMA Awards, which was held for the first and only time in New York City. He said, “So, tonight, we get to thank the country music industry for putting us in the Hall of Fame that we couldn’t say in New York City.”
CMT Giants: Alabama will air later this year on a date that has yet to be announced.