No cable? No worries. The 2021 CMT Awards weren’t available to everyone to watch, which is a bummer, because the show was fast-paced and engaging from the top.
Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini hosted Wednesday night’s (June 9) show. It was a mix of live and recorded performances and celebrity segments that spilled past two hours of TV time. How did they do as a first-time co-hosting team? That’s part of question No. 5 in this 5 Burning Questions video:
Taste of Country’s Adison Haager and Billy Dukes also discuss the mood backstage, why Carrie Underwood always seems to win the Video of the Year award and what happened to Lindsay Ell that landed her in a walking boot.
But first, if you missed this show, what exactly did you miss?
You missed a lot of bright colors. It was a very bright, joyous show — gone are the muted colors and themes of the pandemic, replaced by neon yellow and hot pink. You also missed some unexpected cross-genre collaborations. Some were really smart, like H.E.R with Chris Stapleton. Others, like Kelsea Ballerini with LANY, required some Googling.
During the show, everyone partnered up like they were trying to stay safe at summer camp. Underwood came with Needtobreathe. Brothers Osborne linked with Dierks Bentley. Jon Pardi and Lauren Alaina were paired. Breland and Mickey Guyton found Gladys Knight. Trace Adkins did a long bit with Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan.
You also missed a really powerful tribute to Linda Martell, a pioneer in country as the only Black woman with a Top 20 hit, ever. She wasn’t there, but told her heroic story in a video package and was praised by hitmakers like Underwood, Jennifer Nettles and Darius Rucker.
Brown and Underwood lead the winners list, but the real winners are artists who made the most of their time on stage. So, which performances are worth finding on Facebook and YouTube? Click to watch while you enjoy photos from a very chic 2021 CMT Awards red carpet.