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PHOTOS: Inside Nashville’s Concert for Love and Acceptance

Hot 20 Countdown Spotlights 2018 Event June 16-17 at 9 a.m. ET

When Michael Ray performed at Nashville’s Concert for Love and Acceptance last week, he took a moment onstage to express what it meant to him to be part of the 2018 event.

CMT and GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) host the show annually during CMA Fest to support country music fans within the LGBTQ community.

“I want to help kids, that battle in their minds,” Ray said. “They think, ‘Oh my god, is someone going to love me? Is someone going to accept me?’ Yes. You want to know why? [It’s] because we’re all human. You can take a straight man’s heart and put it in a gay man’s body, and put a gay man’s heart in a straight man’s body, and it beats on because we’re all human. And we’re all made of love.”

Ray was part of an all-star lineup that included co-host Ty Herndon, Cam, Terri Clark, Cassadee Pope, Anita Cochran, Cale Dodds, Billy Dean, Vince Gill, 4th + Main, Shelly Fairchild, Parson James, Thompson Square, Temecula Road, Calum Scott, Brandon Stansell and Tanya Tucker.

Herndon and Cody Alan co-hosted the event, which will be spotlighted along with the Carolina Country Fest on an all-new CMT Hot 20 Countdown airing Saturday and Sunday (June 16-17) at 9 a.m. ET.

Enjoy behind the scenes photos from the event:

  1. Cody Alan and Cam

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  2. Ty Herndon and Brandon Stansell

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  3. Thompson Square

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  4. WWE fighters Sonya DeVille and Lana with Cody Alan and Ty Herndon

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  5. Sonya DeVille, Cam and Lana

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  6. Cale Dodds and Cody Alan

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  7. Cam and Tanya Tucker

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  8. Savannah Chrisley and Tanya Tucker

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  9. Michael Ray, Tanya Tucker and Vince Gill

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  10. Temecula Road

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  11. Ty Herndon

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  12. Cassadee Pope

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  13. Ty Herndon and Tanya Tucker

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  14. Terri Clark

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance
  15. Vince Gill

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance