CMT Artists of the Year Showcases Performances That Inspire

Carrie Underwood, Pistol Annies and More Light Up the Night

We simply cannot get enough of the dynamic performances from Wednesday’s (Oct. 17) 2018 CMT Artists of the Year.

Every expression exhibited onstage displayed what is lacking in today’s mainstream country music: more songs from the female’s perspective.

Pistol Annies kicked off the night with the live world premiere of the sultry “Sugar Daddy,” a new original from Interstate Gospel.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Our hearts are still on the floor after Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile’s tribute to the late Aretha Franklin.

Sheryl Crow, Dierks Bentley and Martina McBride led an all-star salute to Artist of a Lifetime Loretta Lynn.

Rick Diamond

And Carrie Underwood wrapped the night with a medley of female anthems with her Cry Pretty tour mates Maddie & Tae and Runaway June.

Rick Diamond

Check out the full photo gallery from the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #CMTAOTY.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.