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Wednesday , September 28 2022

Underwood wins at ‘CMT Awards’

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Nathan Morris (from left), Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman (right), of Boyz II Men, and Brett Young perform at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (AP)

Tucker performs

LOS ANGELES, June 8, (Agencies): Carrie Underwood extended her run as the most decorated act in the history of the CMT Music Awards with her 20th win Wednesday night.

Underwood won two prizes at the fan-voted show, including video of the year for “Cry Pretty” and female video of the year for “Love Wins”.

“Fans, thank you so much. I saw you guys doing the Twitter parties and getting together and doing your thing and voting,” she said. “None of us would be able to do any of what we do if not for you guys. You guys put us here. You guys keep us going. You guys let us live out our dreams.”

When she won the first televised award of the night, Underwood acknowledged her husband’s birthday (she is married to former hockey player Mike Fisher, who sat in the audience).

“It is my husband’s birthday today – look what they got you,” she said.

The Grammy-winning country star also performed at the show honoring the year’s best country music videos, which took place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town and Trombone Shorty kicked off the event with a performance of “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time”. More collaborative performances followed: Brett Young sang “Here Tonight” with Boyz II Men, even blending in some of the R&B group’s “Water Runs Dry” for the performance. Sheryl Crow and Maren Morris teamed up onstage, while Tanya Tucker – whose new album will be produced by Brandi Carlile – sang “Delta Dawn” with the Grammy-winning Americana singer, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Lauren Alaina and more acts.

Returned

Little Big Town, who also performed and returned for a second year as hosts of the show, talked about the lack of female singers on country radio ahead of the strong female performance. On this week’s Billboard country airplay chart – which tracks radio airplay – only 10 of the 60 slots belong to women or songs co-starring a woman.

“Back in December it was even worse – there were none,” Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild said. “Here’s my question, ladies in the house: ‘What do we have to do to get some airplay around here?’”

Little Big Town told jokes at the top of the show and even sang some of “Old Town Road”, the No. 1 country-rap hit from newcomer Lil Nas X that was booted from the Billboard country songs chart when the tune was deemed not country enough.

Dan + Shay – who won a Grammy this year as well as honors at the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards – kept their year of winning alive by taking home duo video of the year for “Speechless”.

Shay Mooney thanked “the real stars of the video” – their wives – when they accepted the award.

Zac Brown Band won group video of the year for “Someone I Used to Know” and their frontman was passionate as he read his speech from a paper.

It often seems like women have almost as hard a time catching a break at country awards shows as they do on country radio, judging from the fact that neither the CMA Awards nor ACM Awards could come up with a single female to nominate for entertainer of the year for the last two years running. That women problem didn’t run over to the CMT Music Awards, where Carrie Underwood was not only nominated for the top prize Wednesday night but won it, picking up the fan-voted video of the year award for “Cry Pretty”.

That Underwood was not in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to accept the prize was nothing personal. She’d just finished an off-site performance of her new single, “Southside”, a few miles away for an outdoor crowd of glowstick wavers at the Parthenon. Underwood also won favorite female video for “Love Wins”, putting her tally of CMT trophies at a record-breaking 20, reflecting a strong catalog but also the efforts of one of country music’s more determined fan armies.

The gender imbalance in country was brought up more than once by the perfectly gender-balanced host group, Little Big Town, whose Kimberly Schlapman at one point donned a mullet wig – a la freshman artist Morgan Wallen, who currently has his first No. 1 song – in a joking suggestion that maybe that could work for the ladies. Little Big Town also performed their new feminist anthem “The Daughters” (an inordinately well-intentioned, arguably quixotic track that, perhaps not surprisingly, has already dropped off the charts).

Women artists also ganged up for some all-star moments. Carlile and Tucker joined forces for the one retro number of the night, the latter’s 1970s smash “Delta Dawn”, eventually joined by Lauren Alaina, Yearwood, Raelynn, McBride, Pierce and Carter.

Winners:

n Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood – ‘Cry Pretty’

n Male Video of the Year: Kane Brown – ‘Lose It’

n Female Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood – ‘Love Wins’

n Duo Video of the Year: Dan + Shay – ‘Speechless’

n Group Video of the Year: Zac Brown Band – Someone I Used To Know’

n Breakthrough Video of the Year: Ashley McBryde – ‘Girl Goin’ Nowhere (At Marathon Music Works)’

n Collaborative Video of the Year: Keith Urban feat. Julia Michaels – ‘Coming Home’

n CMT Performance of the Year: Luke Combs and Leon Bridges – ‘Beautiful Crazy (From CMT Crossroads)’