For many country artists, the Breakthrough Video of the Year category at the CMT Music Awards is their first chance at adding a shiny trophy to their shelf.
A few of today’s country superstars made their first ever acceptance speech on the CMT Music Awards stage, and now look where their careers have taken them.
Let’s take a look at a few of the artists who read their first list of “thank yous” while holding a CMT buckle.
Dierks Bentley in 2004
Bentley’s video for “What Was I Thinkin'” won the 2004 title.
Carrie Underwood in 2006
Underwood’s video for “Jesus Take The Wheel” won her her very first trophy. “This is my very first acceptance speech, so I made a list!” she exclaimed when she ran onstage. Among her lengthy list of people to thank were her fans, CMT, American Idol, her parents and, of course, God.
Taylor Swift in 2007
Underwood presented Swift her first of many awards for her video “Tim McGraw.” The pop superstar brought her CMT buckle with her when she went on tour with Brad Paisley that summer, allowing all of her fans to take pictures with it.
Kellie Pickler in 2008
While Pickler was unable to attend the 2008 award show, her video for “I Wonder” won Breakthrough Video of the Year, Performance Video of the Year, and Tearjerker Video of the Year in 2008.
Cassadee Pope in 2014
Pope’s “Wasting All These Tears” video earned her her first award show win. However, Pope was no stranger to winning, having won the third season of The Voice two years prior.
Sam Hunt in 2015
Hunt’s high energy video for “Leave The Night On” won last year’s breakthrough title.
Will this year’s breakthrough category produce another first time speech? Tune in to the CMT Music Awards on June 8 to see who takes home the coveted CMT buckle.