Carrie Underwood has another reason to rejoice: she expanded her record as the most decorated artist in the history of the CMT Music Awards, thanks to her song “Hallelujah.” The music video for the singer’s hit, a collaboration with John Legend, was named Video of the Year on Wednesday’s show, which aired from Nashville, Tennessee.
Underwood, who now has 23 CMT Awards, thanked her die-hard fans as she took the honors: “You’re the reason we’re all here doing what we do, doing what we love (and) making music videos.”
She also yelled out Legend, mostly because she sent her the song, which appeared on her first holiday album ‘My Gift’.
“Congratulations on what I believe to be your first CMT Award. Wow!” she exclaimed.
Though Underwood owned part of the evening — she also performed with rock band NEEDTOBREATHE — other female stars, some outside of country music, took over the awards ceremony honoring the best country music videos of the year.
Grammy-winning R&B star HER and fellow guitar killer Chris Stapleton had the best performance of the night. They joined forces for a smoky, rousing performance of “Hold On,” which looks like a veteran duo.
The legendary Gladys Knight won the audience – without masks – during a performance of “Friendship Train” with Mickey Guyton. Part of the show was devoted to black female voices thanks to the top performances of Knight, HER and Guyton, who was nominated for two awards and presented the CMT Equal Play Award to Linda Martell, one of the pioneering black acts in country music and the first black woman. who performed solo at the Grand Ole Opry.
Martell had a country hit with the song “Color Me Country” 50 years ago, and she had other songs hit the charts, but she faced great hardship. She experienced racism while performing on stage and was shunned by the music industry as a mainstream country artist. Her record label shelved her album and was banned from finding a new deal.
“Hearing Linda sing makes it very clear that she already had the talent to become a big star, but her career was cut short for one reason: the color of her skin,” said Guyton, who made history this year as the first. solo black woman. nominated for a nationwide Grammy Award.
“I wouldn’t be here today without you, and none of us would be here without you, so thank you!”
Martell, 86, did not attend the awards ceremony, but CMT broadcast photos of the icon with her award and said she was watching the show from her home in South Carolina.
Guyton also took the stage with BRELAND, the black singer who has mixed country, trap and R&B music and had a country hit with the platinum hit “My Truck”.
And the evening featured more such joint performances.
Lady A kicked off the show with Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell, Ingrid Andress sang with pop singer-songwriter JP Saxe, while Miranda Lambert performed with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall.
Hosts Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini also performed on stage and won awards.
Brown won the Male Video of the Year for “Worship You” and the Collaboration Video of the Year for “Famous Friends” with Chris Young. The CMT Performance of the Year went to Ballerini and Halsey’s “The Other Girl” of the 2020 CMT Music Awards.
Gabby Barrett, who was originally to appear on the show but withdrew, won the Female Video of the Year and the Best Family Film award went to Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day (Taylor’s Version)”, which was re-released this year and featured home movies starring the pop star, her brother and parents.
Little Big Town’s “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” won first prize of the evening – duo/group video of the year.
“This is great. First of all, we’re back and making music people,” Kimberly Schlapman shouted, referring to the pandemic.
“I know you like drinking songs,” added Karen Fairchild.