As introduced by contemporary Christian icon Michael W. Smith, Gabby Barrett -- as accompanied by her husband Cade Foehner on guitar, plus a pianist and violinist -- performed her current soaring hit ballad, "The Good Ones," before being honored live at the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year event. The song's poignant lyrics about finding a mate that one is proud to call their own was highlighted by Foehner seated stage right, in the shadows of the "I Hope" vocalist.
"The Good Ones" hitting the top of Billboard's charts during the COVID-19 pandemic was a shock to the vocalist, who was feted by Smith, who noted that Barrett was one of the fastest-rising country stars in recent memory. "Thank you, CMT. I don't deserve to be here among these amazing names. This road hasn't been easy for me. It's been difficult. Doors have been closed to me, but by the grace of God...and being pushed to not give up, [I've succeeded]," noted Barrett in her acceptance speech.
Barrett joins Chris Stapleton, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton, and Randy Travis in being honored at the event, live from Music City's Schermerhorn Symphony Center. "The Good Ones" is the second single from her June 2020-released album Goldmine. Similar to "I Hope," it's a platinum-seller, and a CMT Music Awards-winner too/ It garnered a fan-voted Country Music Television trophy for Female Video of the Year on June 9, 2021. This followed a 2020 CMT Music Award win for Breakthrough Video of the Year for the previously mentioned "I Hope."