Before the 2023 CMT Music Awards ceremony kicks off on Sunday night (April 2), the stars descended on the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, to rehearse before showtime. Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce and Kelsea Ballerini were just a few of the A-Listers to warm up the stage a little early as they prepped for their awards show performances.
This CMT Music Awards will be like none before: For the first time, the awards show is located in Austin — a location that Shelton’s performance seems to pay homage to, according to photos from his rehearsal day on Saturday (April 1). As the singer performs, he’s got a neon-splashed backdrop full of signs, arrows and hearts in the background — including a banner that reads “Austin” and a message in a heart that says, “It’s Still You.”
From the looks of it, other stars have big things planned for their performances, too: Pearce’s rehearsal photos show what’s sure to be an unforgettable moment at the microphone, while one shot of Ballerini’s rehearsal time involves a splash of colorful confetti.
Ashley McBryde and Wynonna Judd are planning something special for their duet performance. Photos of their rehearsals show the two singers holding hands as they stand onstage, smoke billowing around them. Judd and McBryde have had plenty of time to bond over the last year, since McBryde was a special guest on the Judds’ Final Tour, and it’s clear this pair’s onstage camaraderie is the real deal.
Elsewhere in this batch of CMT Music Awards rehearsal photos, keep your eye out for some more powerhouse pairings. Darius Rucker took the stage to rehearse with the Black Crowes, who also just so happen to be his partners in an upcoming episode of CMT Crossroads. Also onstage for rehearsals was Austin native and blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr., who is part of a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute scheduled to take place during Sunday night’s show.
Flip through the gallery below to see all the action from rehearsals leading up to the 2023 CMT Music Awards. The show airs live on CBS beginning at 8PM ET and will stream live and on-demand on Paramount+. Ballerini will co-host the show with Kane Brown.
Peek Inside the 2023 CMT Music Awards Rehearsals
The 2023 CMT Music Awards will air live from Austin, Texas on Sunday (Apr. 2.) Ahead of the big night, take a look inside rehearsals as Carly Pearce, Blake Shelton and more get ready to perform.
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