It’s official. The country music fans have spoken, and they told the world what their favorite music videos were. And the country stars who won just told the world how that felt.
Here’s what the winners had to say as they picked up their CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night (June 5) in Nashville.
Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood “Cry Pretty”
Underwood made her acceptance speech from the outdoor stage at Nashville’s Parthenon, where she’d just finished getting a little “Southbound.” “This was one that was very near and dear to my heart, very important to me,” she said. “And fans: thank you so much. I saw you guys doing the Twitter parties and getting together and doing your thing and voting. None of us would be able to do any of what we do if not for you. You guys put us here. You guys keep us going. You guys let us live out our dreams. I hope we can give a fraction of it back to you every once in a while.”
Female Video of the Year: Carrie Underwood “Love Wins”
Earlier in the show, when Underwood carefully danced her way to stage for the first win of night, she joked right away that she didn’t even know how she’d made it there without falling. Then she started in on her thanks. “Thank you so much fans. Shane Drake, thank you so much for making this video special and beautiful and wonderful,” she said. And because it was her husband Mike Fisher’s birthday, she told him, “Look what they got you!”
Collaborative Video of the Year: Keith Urban and Julia Michaels “Coming Home”
Urban started off with some straight-up thanks for his team and his squad. Then his fans. “Thank you to the fans for voting for this video,” he said. “And my wife Nicole Mary who is working in New York. I wish you were here baby girl, I miss you. Julia, I love that you were in this video.” When he handed over the microphone to Michaels, her words were heartfelt. “I just want to say thank you so much for having me be a part of this song.”
Duo Video of the Year: Dan + Shay “Speechless”
Shay Mooney started his speech off with a revelation about the duo’s first couple times at the CMTs. “This all so crazy, man. I remember Dan (Smyers) and I coming to these awards, I think we snuck in a couple times,” he said. “I just want to thank God for the opportunity to be able to be up here, and to be able to wake up next to the real stars of the video: our wives Hannah and Abby. We are so thankful to be standing here on this stage.” When it was Smyers turn, he made it all about the fans. “Thank you so much,” he said. “We love you, we love you, we love you.”
Breakthrough Video of the Year: Ashley McBryde “Girl Goin’ Nowhere”
On her way to the stage, McBryde made a quick stop by Luke Combs’ seat to borrow his beer. “I’m always awkward, and I usually bring my drink with me,” she shared, “but I didn’t have a drink. So I took Luke Combs’ drink. We really didn’t expect for this video to resonate the way it did, but we knew we had some really great footage of real crowds singing our songs back to us. Thank you CMT, and thank you fans for voting for us. Cheers to keeping music alive,” she said as she raised Combs’ cup in the air.
Group Video of the Year: Zac Brown Band “Someone I Used to Know”
In one of the more unexpected moments of the night, Brown and his band took the stage not so much to say thanks, but to share some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way. “We’re so grateful that we get our award every night when we get to show up and do what we love,” Brown said before explaining that trophies and accolades are not how they measure success. “This award is for all of you, my band, and all the outsiders who waited through everyone’s doubts. For you young artists: have courage to stand up against the machine, be yourself, work hard, and one day you can stand up here and tell the haters to (expletive) off.”
CMT Performance of the Year: Luke Combs and Leon Bridges “Beautiful Crazy”
While Combs is rarely at a loss for words when he sits down to write a song, the CMT Music Award win rendered him almost speechless. “I don’t know what to say. First off, to my beautiful fiance Nicole, thank you for inspiring this song,” he said, thanking his co-writers for writing the song with him and Bridges for crushing it. Bridges then added his own list of people that made the win possible. Especially Combs. “Make some noise for this cat right here. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful song, my brother.”
Male Video of the Year: Kane Brown “Lose It”
It may have been Brown’s first win in the category, but he was ready with a grateful and genuine heart. “Honestly, I started on Facebook. So I gotta thank all my fans who have been behind me since day one,” he said. “I love you guys. I love y’all so much. Thank you all so much.”
Enjoy re-watching this video of the year winner, Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty.”