2024 CMT Music Awards Recap: Jelly Roll Breaks A Record, Lainey Wilson Shines, Sugarland Reunites And More


Jelly Roll emerged the night’s top winner at the 2024 CMT Music Awards in Austin, Texas, Sunday night. He took home three trophies, including the show’s most prestigious Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year, and CMT Performance of the Year—all for his song “Need a Favor.”

His “Need a Favor” music video captured the most fan votes for Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year, and his CMT Music Awards performance of the song at the 2023 CMT Music Awards won the trophy for CMT Performance of the Year.

Jelly Roll was bubbling with excitement and gratitude from the stage as he thanked fans, his record label, his wife, and his publicist and gave a shout-out to adolescents in need of second chances.

“I love you, Austin, Texas,” Jelly Roll said. “This is a moment I want to take to thank the fans for everything they’ve done for me. I want to thank God. I want to thank my beautiful wife and my daughter at home. One year ago, I was invited to perform at my first awards show, and I walked on this stage, and I sang ‘Need A Favor’ on national television for the first time right here. What I am emotional about is that in the last year, you have changed my life in every way I would have never thought my life could be changed.”

Kelsea Ballerini hosted the 2024 CMT Music Awards, which aired LIVE from Austin, Texas’ Moody Center on Sunday. Ballerini was one of the night’s top nominees and used her performance to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her breakthrough hit “Love Me Like You Mean It” with a more grownup version of the song. Ballerini also revealed it would be her last year as the show’s host.

The night’s other big winners include Trisha Yearwood who received the inaugural June Carter Cash Humanitarian Award and premiered a new song she co-wrote, “Put It In a Song,” from her upcoming album – also packed with tracks she penned.

“I’ve never gotten an award like this,” Yearwood said from the stage. “I will say it’s nice to know you won before you got here. I don’t think anyone who has ever won a humanitarian award thought they deserved it. I knew her just a little bit, but it didn’t take long to realize she embodied everything this award is about.”

Yearwood called Carter Cash “a force” and said she was “married to a force.”

“I know a little about a life like that,” Yearwood said. “I only hope I can be as big a part of my community as she was. My hope is that we can all learn a little from June Carter Cash’s legacy, be a little more real, a little more vulnerable, a little less about me and a little more about us. I look at this as a challenge and a calling. Garth and I believe that to whom much is given, much is expected.”

Lainey Wilson also had much screen time. True to form, she delivered a high-energy version of her hit “Country’s Cool Again,” paid tribute to Toby Keith with her version of “How Do You Like Me Now,” and gracefully accepted the Female Video of the Year award.

She said every woman she competed again in the category – Megan Moroney, Reba McEntire, Ashley McBryde, Gabby Barrett, Kacey Musgraves and Ballerini – were dear friends who work their tail off and “dedicate their life to create music and create this vision and bringing it to life.”

“I’m so honored to be part of this category,” said Wilson, who also won the trophy last year. “It’s really unreal watching these girls do what they do. I’m pretty sure all of them would let me say thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for supporting women in country. It’s a big dang deal.”

The night’s other standout moments included Cody Johnson’s electrifying show opener,“That’s Texas.” Keith Urban employed a larger-than-usual band for his “Straight Line,” which he delivered with the kind of unparalleled energy and charisma only gained from decades of performing on stage. Little Big Town and Sugarland reteamed for a reimagined version of the Phil Collins classic “Take Me Home,” the singers’ first time on the CMT stage together since 2008. That performance of “Life In A Northern Town” led to a Grammy Award. Brittney Spencer and Parker McCollum put a steamy fresh spin on his hit “Burn It Down” and Moroney and Old Dominion brought their duet “Can’t Break Up Now” to life on the stage.

Jelly Roll is the first artist to win back-to-back awards for male video of the year in a decade, then closed the show by setting himself up to win again next year with his fiery show closer “Halfway to Hell.”

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