The November 2020-released video for Carrie Underwood and John Legend’s “Hallelujah” triumphed as the Video of the Year at the 2021 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday (June 9). Underwood is the event’s most-awarded artist. While for the vaunted pop-soul icon Legend, it is his first triumph at Country Music Television’s festivities. Underwood and Legend’s single won after a process that saw an original list of 14 nominees whittled first down to six, then down to four finalists: the winner, “Hallelujah, plus Kelsea Ballerini’s “hole in the bottle,” Kane Brown’s “Worldwide Beautiful,” and the Keith Urban/P!nk collaboration “One Too Many.”
Voting for Video of the Year was Twitter-only and remained open through the 2021 CMT Music Awards broadcast. To cast their vote, fans were instructed to tweet using a series of artist-specific hashtags that were tallied. Videos also including the clip for Kenny Chesney’s “Knowing You,” as well as Elle King and Miranda Lambert’s “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” were included in the set of 14 original nominees.
Regarding the now award-winning single, Underwood noted upon its release, “I was deep into making [her 2020-released Christmas album My Gift], and this one kind of came in. He sent it to us kind of at the end. It was like, ’Well, I love the song. I feel like this is a puzzle piece I didn’t know was missing, but now that I’ve heard it, I have to have it.'” As well, the Washington Post noted, “These two Grammy winners push each other to new and impressive heights as they raise their voices to the heavens.”