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The CMT Music Awards Acceptance Speeches We Can’t Forget

Laughter, Tears and a Country Music History Lesson Dominate the Night’s Thank Yous

Laughter, tears and a country music history lesson dominated the night’s “Thank Yous” at the 2018 CMT Music Awards. Below are a few of the best speeches delivered onstage.

  1. Video of the Year: Blake Shelton, “I’ll Name The Dogs”

    Michael Loccisano/WireImage

    Shelton was once again visibly shocked to take home the night’s top honor and his second belt buckle of the evening for his hit single and video. “All I can say is: I’ve been doing this for eighteen years. I’ve been making records and lucky enough that you guys have accepted them, country radio has played them, and CMT has played my videos. It’s been a crazy ride. It’s so cool to sit up here with this new generation of country artists coming up. I may be one of the last old guys that’s excited to embrace the new generation that’s coming up.”

  2. Male Video of the Year: Blake Shelton, “I’ll Name The Dogs”

    Michael Loccisano/WireImage

    Shelton’s first win of the night was apparently unexpected for the singer, judging by the look on his face when his name was called. “I literally did not expect this tonight, I don’t even know what to say,” Shelton told the crowd. “I can’t even believe I’m in this category with this new group of country artists that are coming up that are unbelievable.” But before he left, he gave the next generation of country artists a little lesson in country music history with this fun fact. “There’s a guy in the video that you kids need to know about. His name is Jimmy Olander. He’s the lead guitar player for Diamond Rio, and he played the guitar solo.”

  3. Female Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood featuring Ludacris, “The Champion”

    Michael Loccisano/WireImage

    Underwood thanked the fans for taking the time to vote and then she took a moment to thank her collaborator who wasn’t able to be there tonight. “Thank you, Ludacris, for wanting to inspire. It took a whole team of people to put this stuff together for the video. Thank you to the normal people and heroes who were in the video for just doing what you do and for allowing us to share your story with the world.”

  4. Duo Video of the Year: Dan + Shay, “Tequila”

    Michael Loccisano/WireImage

    When the boys arrived onstage, Shay Mooney told the crowd, “I’m shaking right now. I just want to thank God for country music, man, this is absolutely amazing.” He thanked his wife and his son, Asher, and then his family for “putting up with so much bad music before Dan + Shay happened.” Dan Smyers dedicated the award to Patrick Tracy, the video’s director who also happens to be one of their best friends. “We sat in section 118 and moved to Nashville ten years ago to chase this dream and we finally got one, buddy,” he said.

  5. Group Video of the Year: Little Big Town, “When Someone Stops Loving You”

    Michael Loccisano/WireImage

    The night’s hosts were clearly over the moon, and thanked their team and most importantly the fans. “Country music fans we love you!” LBT’s Kimberly Schlapman shouted from the stage.

  6. Breakthrough Video of the Year: Carly Pearce, “Every Little Thing”

    Michael Loccisano/WireImage

    Breakout star Carly Pearce was in tears as she walked up the steps to accept her award. “Y’all, I sat up in the stands with my mom so many years wondering if I would ever get here,” she said. “Fans you have absolutely changed everything for me so thank you for getting me here.” But she had one last message to someone unexpected: “To the guy that broke my heart, thank you!

  7. Collaborative Video of the Year: Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina, “What If’s”

    Michael Loccisano/WireImage

    These two childhood pals couldn’t have been cuter or sweeter walking up on that stage together. “I’ve known Kane since we were little kids,” Alaina said. “We were in middle school chorus class together in seventh grade, so this is kind of crazy!” Brown was elated to be holding that belt buckle, too. “I just gotta thank everybody especially Lauren for jumping on the song with me,” he said. “Thank you for all the fans that voted this is the first award I’ve ever won!”

  8. Performance of the Year: Backstreet Boys and Florida Georgia Line, “Everybody” from CMT Crossroads

    Michael Loccisano/WireImage

    “Are you kidding me?” the boys all exclaimed as they took the stage to accept their belt buckle. BSB’s Brian Littrell told the crowd, “Seriously, so who would’ve thought 20 years ago when this song came out that these guys would be singing it onstage and we would actually do something together?” “We’re everything because of y’all, all of us up onstage,” FGL’s Brian Kelley said.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.