When Kelsea Ballerini took the stage to sing her third No. 1 single, “Peter Pan,” at the 2016 CMT Artists of the Year, it was an awards show moment that showed women in music at their best: They genuinely support one another.
When Ballerini soared into the chorus, cameras caught Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood in the audience singing along to the lyrics that Ballerini co-wrote with hit-makers Jesse Lee and Forest Glen Whitehead. The smile on Ballerini’s face showed she was visually moved by their show of support.
Then her throat made a funny noise when she realized she was breathing the same air as Twain.
“I’m nervous,” she admitted, “That’s Shania Twain!”
Ballerini wrapped her acceptance speech on an emotional note, by dedicating her award to her grandfather who passed away that afternoon before the taping.
“So this is for you,” she said.
The CMT Artists of the Year special re-airs Friday (9:30 a.m. ET/PT), Saturday (6 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. ET/PT) and Sunday (12 p.m. ET/PT). Ballerini’s fellow honorees are Underwood, Twain, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Chris Stapleton.