“If I could get my 21-year-old self to listen,” she said, “the No. 1 thing I would say is, ‘You are going to meet the most special people. Enjoy every second that you get to be in this beautiful city of Nashville, and this wonderful business called the music business.’”
The 2016 Artist of the Year said she felt at home in that room full of such powerful women of all ages. And just like she shared some words of wisdom for her younger self, she shared more advice for the newcomers to the industry.
“If there was one thing I could say to young people coming up: know the history of country music,” she said. “You’ve let me be a part of this business for 40 years. Please don’t run me off now.”
In addition to McEntire’s award, Jana Kramer was honored as the breakout artist of the year.