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The Top 3 Most Memorable Moments From Yesterday’s CMT Awards

It was a night to remember.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas — country music award show season. Last night, the 2023 CMT awards took place, and honestly, the star power, performances, and sheer entertainment value made us all feel like winners. Missed the show? Keep reading to see the top three moments from the evening, as well as a list of the winners in each category. 

1: Wynnona Judd Honors Late Mother, Naomi

This touched our hearts. Wynonna Judd used her performance as a platform to honor her late mother, iconic country star Naomi Judd, who passed away by suicide at age 76 last May, says People Magazine. While performing a cover of “I Want to Know What Love Is” with Ashley McBride, Judd took a moment and pointed to the sky, saying, “Mama, you need to be here. I miss you, and I love you, and I don’t understand.” McBride was proud to be next to her on stage, she told CMT. “She has everybody on the planet to choose from. She’s such a wonderful spirit to be around and she’s just such a talent,” said the singer. “For her to say she wants me to come sing with her on the show, I was like, ‘I don’t even have to hear the rest of the question. I just say yes, what song? Tell me what part I’m singing. I’m on it.'”

2: Gwen Stefani Makes Her CMT Debut

It looks like her marriage to country star Blake Shelton has made pop princess Gwen Stefani a country star in her own right, as she performed at the CMT awards last night for the first time. Those who loved her in the 90’s rock band No Doubt got a special treat, since she sang their 1995 hit “Just a Girl,” says People. She didn’t do it alone, either; she duetted with country artist Carly Pearce, proving that they’re both jacks-of-all-genres. “To me, it’s bringing more and more awareness to country music,” Pearce said, discussing the blend of pop and country. “I think it gives us a chance to do something a little bit different…music is music, and I’m a very big fan of Gwen.”

3: Shania Twain Champions Diversity 

Shania Twain won the Equal Play Award, which was presented by Megan Thee Stallion. The Equal Play Award goes to artists who elevate and amplify the voices of those who are underrepresented in the industry, according to People. “Let me start by saying, ‘let’s go, girls,” Twain said in her acceptance speech, referencing the iconic first line in her smash hit “Man, I Feel Like A Woman.” “I believe in all-inclusive country music,” she continued, promising to advocate for country artists that don’t get the recognition they deserve. “This is a genre of  music with a rich history that raised [me] … the industry standard does a real disservice to [inclusion].”

2023 CMT Award Winners

All the nominated artists are winners in our book, but unfortunately, only one nominee from each category can win a CMT award. Who were you rooting for? Keep reading to see who made it out on top.  

Video of the Year

Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown — “Thank God

Female Video of the Year

Lainey Wilson — “Heart Like A Truck

Male Video of the Year

Jelly Roll — “Son Of A Sinner

Group/Duo Video of the Year

Zac Brown Band — “Out In The Middle

Breakthrough Female Video of the Year

Megan Moroney — “Tennessee Orange

Breakthrough Male Video of the Year

Jelly Roll — “Son Of A Sinner”

Collaborative Video of the Year 

HARDY feat. Lainey Wilson — “wait in the truck

CMT Performance of the Year

Cody Johnson — “Til You Can’t” (from 2022 CMT Music Awards)

CMT Digital-First Performance of the Year

Jelly Roll — “Son Of A Sinner” (from CMT All Access)

Can’t get enough of country music award shows? We don’t blame you. Good thing the Academy of Country Music Awards — co-hosted by Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks — are just around the corner.

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