This ain’t our first rodeo, so to speak. Tonight’s 2019 CMT Artists of the Year ceremony is in fact our 10th rodeo. So while we wait impatiently for the show to start on CMT — when it airs live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center at 8pm ET/PT — we’re taking a look back at some of the highest highs from the past decade.
1. When Carrie Underwood admitted she was determined to always get better.
“If I ever reach a point where I’m not getting any better, time out, you know? I should be done.”
2. When Lady Antebellum reflected on the importance of songwriting.
“There’s a definite level of respect and weight that comes with being a representative of Nashville and of the songwriting community.”
3. When artists shared their thoughts on their fellow artists.
Jason Aldean said, “Luke Bryan is the poster child for Colgate.”
Miranda Lambert said, “Carrie Underwood is a freak of nature, vocally.”
4. When Blake Shelton shared his personal key to success.
“I think of myself in the same way that I think of county music. Which is, in order to know where you’re going, you gotta know where you came from. And you gotta keep a handle on that. If you ever let go of that, you get lost.”
5. When Kenny Rogers told the crowd he was a little boy when he just knew.
“This all started with me when I was 12 years old, and I went to see Ray Charles. And I remember I went home and I told my mom, ’That’s what I want to do.'”
6. When Luke Bryan had high hopes for the power of music.
“Music can be so powerful. And we have never needed it more than we do right now. Music move us. Music brings us together. And tonight, we hope music can be part of the healing.”
7. When Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild had a shout out for 35 fellow female artists.
“I just want to say that Danielle Bradbery, Runaway June, Kelleigh Bannen, Kassi Ashton, Ashley McBryde, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Mickey Guyton, Lucie Silvas, Jillian Jacqueline, Heather Morgan, Abby Anderson, Aubrie Sellers, Tenille Townes, Rachel Wammack, Maddie & Tae, Carly Pearce, Ruthie Collins, Maggie Rose, Caitlyn Smith, Linsday Ell, Jana Kramer, Clare Dunn, Lauren Alaina, Margo Price, the Sisterhood Band, Natalie Stovall, Kree Harrison, Brooke Eden, Candi Carpenter, Lillie Mae, Emily Hackett, Little Feather, Kalie Shorr and Lacy Cavalier are there for you to play on the radio if you want to.”