The best dressed stars at the 2018 CMAs

The 52nd Annual Country Music Association awards, otherwise known as country music's biggest night, went down on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee (because, duh, where else), the prime time awards show saw the likes of country music's most recognizable names, from Kelsea Ballerini to Lauren Alaina. Not mention Carrie Underwood — who somehow managed to look totally flawless and effortlessly put together throughout numerous wardrobe changes throughout the night and a growing baby bump! Teach us your ways, Carrie!

Of course, the 2018 CMA awards were full of your favorite country stars performing their hit songs and being recognized for their hard work throughout the past year — but we'd be absolutely remiss if we didn't mention the total fashion show that was the ceremony's red carpet. From flowing Cinderella gowns to bold, figure-hugging numbers, these country stars certainly know how to glam up. Here are the best dressed stars from the 2018 CMA awards. 

Kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini — who crashed onto the country music scene in a big way with her debut number one hit, "Love Me Like You Mean It," in 2015 — gave the performance of a lifetime at the 2018 CMAs. Singing a fiery rendition of her hit song, "Miss Me More," Ballerini was joined onstage by a crew of break-dancing backup dancers as she commanded the stage in a new-fashioned powersuit, complete with a white crop top and heeled white boots. 

How Ballerini managed to effortlessly belt her song without flubbing the choreography (or losing her breath) during the seriously impressive dance number is beyond us — but, honestly, Ballerini never ceases to impress. Her red carpet look was no exception to this rule, either. Before wowing with her powerful performance, Ballerini walked the CMA red carpet looking like a Barbie doll come-to-life in a figure-hugging, hot pink gown with a sweetheart neckline and mermaid silhouette. 

Carrie Underwood

The 52nd Annual CMAs marked country superstar Carrie Underwood's 11th time hosting the awards show, along with co-host, Brad Paisley — and boy, did she ever have a big night. Kicking the night off with a hilarious musical monologue, Underwood and Paisley reminisced on that one time Paisley accidentally revealed the gender of Underwood's unborn baby to the world (oops!) before Paisley remarked, "Tonight we”re going to reveal something even more exciting — who the father is!" Very funny, Brad.

It was all in good fun, and we're sure Underwood's husband, Mike Fisher, can take a joke. And besides, he's probably over-the-moon right now because — as Underwood announced live at the awards show — she and Fisher are expecting their second baby boy! The star, who announced she was pregnant in August 2018, was absolutely glowing all night as she walked the red carpet in a flowing floral number, announced the gender of her bun-in-the-oven while donning a hot pink, floor-length coat with leather pants, and took home the CMA award for Best Female Vocalist in a sparkling metallic number. 

Maren Morris

There's no question that Maren Morris has been absolutely killing it since debuting her self-titled EP in 2015. Since then, Morris has gone on to not only slay the country music charts, but the county music fashion game, as well. At the 52nd Annual CMAs, Morris once again proved that she knows how to dress for an occasion, gliding down the red carpet looking like a literal golden statue in a shimmering gold, curve-hugging gown with super sultry cutouts. The star completed her ensemble with a pair of dangling statement earrings, a fresh-faced makeup look, and an effortlessly-wavy crop. 

As shimmery as she was on the red carpet, Morris shined onstage, as well. The "My Church" songstress took to the stage with country superstar Chris Stapleton, rockabilly star Marty Stuart, and renowned soul singer Mavis Staples for a chill bump-inducing rendition of the The Staple Singers' classic, soulful hit,"I'll Take You There."

Lauren Alaina

Lauren Alaina has come a long way since stealing America's collective heart as the runner-up in American Idol's tenth season. This young country crooner has gone from performing with her actual idol, Carrie Underwood, on the hit reality competition singing show in 2011, to attending the CMA awards in 2018 as Underwood's peer and fellow nominee. Talk about a glow-up!

To say it's been an exciting past seven years for Alaina would possibly be the understatement of the century — and judging by the smile she sported throughout the entire evening, Alaina is soaking in every second. Nominated for Best New Artist, the former American Idol contestant gave us total Cinderella vibes as she graced the red carpet in a floor-length, baby blue ballgown with intricate beading detail, completing her look with sparkling diamond accessories and a metallic clutch. The newly-engaged Alaina might not have taken home an award, but her Disney princess look undoubtedly landed her at the top of every best-dressed list. 

Martina McBride

If you happen to be a child of the 90s, it's safe to say you've belted your heart out to some of Martina McBride's hits. From her fierce third single, "Independence Day," to the heartbreakingly emotional "A Broken Wing," to the inspiring girl power anthem, "This One's For The Girls," McBride has certainly earned her place in the hearts of country music fans everywhere. 

Though she's had her share of iconic and memorable CMA moments (like the time she got stuck on her tour bus and had to "literally [crawl] out the window" in an evening gown), McBride simply attended this year's award ceremony as a presenter — but her choice of gown is certain to stand out in CMA red carpet history. The legendary country songstress radiated Jackie-O-level elegance as she walked the red carpet wearing a dramatic, black, floor-length ballgown with a mermaid silhouette and sweeping tulle skirt. Her off-the-shoulder cap sleeves and double star, diamond drop earrings added their own touches of sophistication to McBride's chic ensemble, reminding us all that she's still the country queen she's always been. 

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Mugraves has never been one to conform to tradition. While many stars take awards ceremonies as opportunities to don evening gowns usually uncalled for off the red carpet, Musgraves posed for photographers on Wednesday night looking every bit the part of a young, modern day Johnny Cash — with a feminine twist. 

Sporting a custom-made Versace pantsuit with a sheer, cutout, collared top and shimmering gold fringe details, Musgraves definitely stood out from the crowd in the best possible way. Accenting her unique ensemble with a bold, red lip and a sleek, straight mane, the raven-haired beauty not only stole the show on the red carpet — the country superstar took home one of the night's most coveted awards, Album of the Year, totally inspiring us all with her acceptance speech when she noted that Wednesday marked ten years since she moved to Nashville to chase her dream. You go, girl!

Lindsay Ell

If you didn't know Lindsay Ell's name before watching the 52nd Annual CMA awards, you definitely know it now. The up-and-coming country star, originally from Calgary, Alberta, has been making waves in America since releasing her first single, "Trippin' On Us," in December 2013. Nearly five years later, Ell has found herself among the the best of the best in country music, walking the 2018 CMA red carpet alongside superstars she certainly idolized as a young star-in-the-making herself. 

Wearing a white and silver floor-length gown with a plunging neckline and sky-high leg slit, Ell looked like a total Greek goddess as she flashed her thousand-watt smile and posed for photographers on the red carpet. The star then made a quick outfit change to open the show with a star-studded performance of Luke Bryan's "What Makes You Country," literally shining onstage as she played electric guitar in an eye-catching, metallic pantsuit. We can't wait to see more from this gal!

Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr

If we're handing out an award for the night's best dressed couple, we'd be crazy not to give it to country superstar Jason Aldean and his wife, Brittany Kerr. Much like CMA host Carrie Underwood and her husband Mike Fisher, Aldean and Kerr announced in the summer of 2018 that they, too, were expecting their second child — a baby girl they've already named Navy Rome Williams. 

The past year has certainly been emotional for the couple, full of both ups and downs. As you may remember, Aldean was the headlining act at The Route 91 Harvest Festival in October 2017 when a lone gunman opened fire into the crowd during his set. While Aldean was lucky to make it out unscathed, the incident has undoubtedly had a profound effect on the country crooner, who released his eighth studio album, Rearview Town, in April 2018. However, both Aldean and Kerr were all smiles on Wednesday night, with Aldean sporting a sleek, black, velvety ensemble and Kerr adorably cradling her baby bump in a figure-hugging, canary yellow evening gown. 

Danielle Bradbery

At only 22 years old, Danielle Bradbery is already making quite the name for herself in the country music scene. Rising to fame after winning season four of NBC's hit reality singing competition show, The Voice, Bradbery — who was obviously Team Blake [Shelton] — has steadily been climbing her way to the top since. She released her self-titled, debut studio album in November 2013 and her second studio album, I Don't Believe We've Met, in December 2017. With such big moves at such a young age, it's safe to say you'll be hearing from Bradbery for years to come.

Following in the evening's apparent theme of metallic ensembles, Bradbery looked statuesque in a shimmering silver and gold Jovani gown featuring a plunging neckline, a cutout back, and fringe sleeves. With her hair pulled pack into a sleek chignon bun, the star-on-the-rise accessorized with a lone pair of diamond Annie Sisteron earrings, proving that less is definitely sometimes more.