The CMT Music Awards were held live from Nashville on Monday (April 11th) night, airing on CBS for the first time ever. The evening's big winners were Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean and Cody Johnson, who each took home two belt buckle trophies.
Keith Urban kicked off the night with his song “Wild Hearts,” followed by Cole Swindell and Lainey Wilson performing a dramatic “Never Say Never” in the rain.
Kelsea Ballerini co-hosted the event virtually from home due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, while Anthony Mackie joked that they found a “backup KB” to co-host, as Kane Brown joined him onstage throughout the night.
Despite being nominated for four CMT awards, Kane didn’t end up taking home any buckles this year.
Carrie Underwood had already won the most CMT awards ever before last night — and she took home two more with Jason Aldean for “If I Didn’t Love You,” including Video of the Year. Jason said that this is the first Video of the Year award he’s won in his 17-year-long career.
Cody Johnson's two CMT awards were for Male Video of the Year for “’Til You Can’t" and CMT Digital-First Performance of the Year for "Dear Rodeo" (from CMT Campfire Sessions).
Miranda Lambert was the lucky winner for Female Video of the Year for “If I Was a Cowboy,” which she performed live later in the show.
Carrie Underwood wowed the audience with her aerial silks skills while singing “Ghost Story,” and The Judds performed for the first time at an awards show in over 20 years, singing a momentous version of “Love Can Build a Bridge” with the help of a gospel choir.
Jason Aldean and Bryan Adams revived their 2009 CMT Crossroads rendition of “Heaven.” Jimmie Allen, Monica, and Little Big Town also brought heaven to the stage visually with “Pray”—as the performers were all dressed in white with cloud-like fog at their feet.
Co-host Kelsea Ballerini took work-from-home to a whole new level, performing her new song “Heartfirst” from her backyard.