CMT Music Awards 2021 WINNERS: Little Big Town kick off with a win for Group Video of the Year

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The 2021 CMT Music Awards returned to its longtime home in Nashville on Wednesday evening, with Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini covering hosting duties.

Trace Adkins and football player Taylor Lewan presented the first award of the night for Group Duo Video of the Year to Little Big Town for the Wine, Beer, Whiskey video.

Lady A kicked off the show with a confetti-filled performance of their song Like A Lady, with Carly Pearce dropping by for a guest verse while Lindsey Ell shredded on the guitar. 

First win: Little Big Town kicked off Wednesday 2021 CMT Music Awards in Nashville with a win for Group/Duo Video of the Year with their song Wine, Beer, Whiskey

First win: Little Big Town kicked off Wednesday 2021 CMT Music Awards in Nashville with a win for Group/Duo Video of the Year with their song Wine, Beer, Whiskey

Its the second year in a row that Brown will lead the ceremony after helping to helm last year’s show, while Ballerini is making her debut in the high-profile role.

‘Kelsea and Kane are two of the brightest, most sought-after stars in country music today and we’re thrilled to welcome them both as hosts of the 2021 CMT Music Awards,’ the producers of the CMT Music Awards shared in a statement in May. 

‘This dynamic duo reflects the show’s revitalized energy as live music returns to center stage in a night filled with incredible outdoor performances, cross-genre collaborations and a few surprises!’ 

Miranda Lambert and Brown lead the nominees with four nods apiece, while Ballerini and Maren Morris are close behind with three nominations.

The bearded country rocker Chris Stapleton joined the show remotely from an outdoor stage in nearby Manchester, Tennessee, where the Bonnaroo music festival is held annually. 

Opener: Lady A kicked off the show with a confetti-filled performance of their song Like A Lady, with Carly Pearce dropping by for a guest verse

Opener: Lady A kicked off the show with a confetti-filled performance of their song Like A Lady, with Carly Pearce dropping by for a guest verse

Rocking out: Lindsey Ell shredded on the guitar after filling in for Gabby Barrett

Rocking out: Lindsey Ell shredded on the guitar after filling in for Gabby Barrett

He was joined by his wife Morgane Stapleton on backing vocals and tambourine for a hard-charging version of his 2020 song Arkansas.

Brown rocked an all-black suit when he arrived on stage, while Ballerini glowed in a hot pink jumpsuit. 

Next up, Hailey Whitters led a rollicking version of her song Fillin’ My Cup, though it was curtailed by a commercial break.

Morris shocked her fans on Tuesday evening when she announced that she was backing out of the ceremony at the last minute, citing a ‘scheduling conflict.’

She shared the news in her Instagram Stories but deleted the post shortly after posting it. 

The day before, Gabby Barrett also announced that she would no longer be at the show due to ‘personal circumstances.’

Ingrid Andress will now perform with JP Saxe in Morris’ place, while Lindsey Ell will replace Barrett to sing with Lady A and Carly Pearce.

Short spot: Next up, Hailey Whitters led a rollicking version of her song Fillin' My Cup, though it was curtailed by a commercial break

Short spot: Next up, Hailey Whitters led a rollicking version of her song Fillin’ My Cup, though it was curtailed by a commercial break

Back for more: Kane Brown is back hosting for the second year in a row, while Kelsea Ballerini is making her debut as co-host

Back for more: Kane Brown is back hosting for the second year in a row, while Kelsea Ballerini is making her debut as co-host

Luke Combs was the next big performer of the evening with a growling rendition of Cold As You. He was surrounded by socially distanced band members standing on elevated platforms.

In a statement released after he was announced as one of the hosts, Brown recalled the ‘amazing feeling’ he felt after winning his first country music award at the CMTs.

‘The CMT Music Awards are special to me — it’s the first industry award I won and getting on that stage was an amazing feeling,’ he said. ‘I love that the fans get to have their voices heard as we celebrate the best in country music.’

The co-hosts will both be performing during the ceremony alongside performances from country superstars Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert.

Last year’s ceremony had to be moved back from its scheduled June date to October of 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, though Wednesday night’s show will have more of sense of normalcy as Covid-19 cases continued to decrease and vaccination rates rise across the US.

Back for more: The 2021 CMT Music Awards will be held in its longtime home in Nashville, with Kane Brown returning to co-host along with newcomer Kelsea Ballerini; seen together on May 12

Back for more: The 2021 CMT Music Awards will be held in its longtime home in Nashville, with Kane Brown returning to co-host along with newcomer Kelsea Ballerini; seen together on May 12

Hosts and nominees: Both artists are nominated for three awards each this year. Kane recalled winning his first industry award at the ceremony in a statement last month

Hosts and nominees: Both artists are nominated for three awards each this year. Kane recalled winning his first industry award at the ceremony in a statement last month

In addition to the standard array of country stars, the CMT Music Awards will be stocked with artists not usually associated with country music.

John Legend scored a Video of the Year nomination for his duet Hallelujah with Carrie Underwood, while pop rocker Pink earned a nomination for Collaborative Video of the Year for One Too Many, a duet with Keith Urban.

In addition to the two co-hosts, Little Big Town is close behind with three nominations, while Mickey Guyton has two. It’s particularly impressive for Guyton, as this is the first year she has been nominated at the CMT Music Awards.

The ceremony will have plenty of star power on stage as the Avengers star Anthony Mackie drops by to present, while Freaks And Geeks actress Busy Philipps will also be on hand. 

The show airs Wednesday, June 9 at 8 p.m. EST and will be available to viewers on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT Australia, though viewers looking for a free viewing option online are out of luck.

2021 CMT MUSIC AWARDS WINNERS

Video of the Year 

Carrie Underwood with John Legend ‘Hallelujah’

Elle King and Miranda Lambert ‘Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)’ 

Kane Brown ‘Worldwide Beautiful’

Keith Urban and Pink ‘One Too Many’

Kelsea Ballerini ‘Hole in the Bottle’

Kenny Chesney ‘Knowing You’

 

Female Video of the Year 

Carly Pearce ‘Next Girl’

Gabby Barrett ‘The Good Ones’

Kelsea Ballerini ‘Hole in the Bottle’

Maren Morris ‘To Hell & Back’

Mickey Guyton ‘Heaven Down Here’

Miranda Lambert ‘Settling Down’

 

Breakthrough Video of the Year 

Dylan Scott ‘Nobody’

Hailey Whitters and Little Big Town ‘Fillin’ My Cup’

Hardy ‘Give Heaven Some Hell’

Lainey Wilson ‘Things a Man Oughta Know’

Mickey Guyton ‘Black Like Me’

Niko Moon ‘Good Time’

 

CMT Performance of the Year

Brooks & Dunn and Luke Combs ‘1, 2 Many’ (2020 CMT Music Awards) 

Dan + Shay ‘I Should Probably Go to Bed’ (2020 CMT Music Awards) 

Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus ‘This Is Us’ (2020 CMT Music Awards) 

Kelsea Ballerini and Halsey ‘The Other Girl’ (2020 CMT Music Awards) 

Little Big Town ‘Wine, Beer, Whiskey’ (2020 CMT Music Awards) 

Nathaniel Rateliff and Margo Price ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ (CMT Crossroads)

 

CMT Equal Play Award 

Linda Martell — WINNER 

 Male Video of the Year 

Chris Stapleton ‘Starting Over’

Darius Rucker ‘Beers and Sunshine’

Kane Brown ‘Worship You’

Luke Bryan ‘Down to One’

Luke Combs ‘Lovin’ on You’

Thomas Rhett ‘What’s Your Country Song’

 

Duo/Group Video of the Year 

Brothers Osborne ‘All Night’

Lady A ‘Like a Lady’

Little Big Town ‘Wine, Beer, Whiskey’ — WINNER

Old Dominion ‘Never Be Sorry’

Parmalee and Blanco Brown ‘Just the Way’

Runaway June ‘We Were Rich’

 

Collaborative Video of the Year 

Carrie Underwood with John Legend ‘Hallelujah’

Chris Young and Kane Brown ‘Famous Friends’

Elle King and Miranda Lambert ‘Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)’

Keith Urban and Pink ‘One Too Many’

Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris ‘Chasing After You’

Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard ‘Undivided’

 

Best Family Feature 

Brooke Eden ‘Sunroof’

Kane Brown ‘Worship You’

Luke Combs ‘Forever After All’

Miranda Lambert ‘Settling Down’

Russell Dickerson ‘Home Sweet’

Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris ‘Chasing After You’

Taylor Swift ‘The Best Day (Taylor’s Version)  

 

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