On Wednesday, CMT gave the music industry a wake up call when they honored the leading women in country music during their Artist of the Year special. Honorees included Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott and the ladies of Little Big Town.
The show opened up with a spectacular performance from the Pistol Annies, followed by Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile giving their rendition of Aretha Franklin’s song “A Natural Woman.” All the honorees were awarded throughout the night, with the most memorable speech being the list from Karen Fairchild, who named over 30 female artists who are killing in in country music, including Carly Pearce, Danielle Bradbery, Abby Anderson, and Kalie Shorr. The night continued with performances by Hillary Scott with Tori Kelly, Kelsea Ballerini featuring Alison Krauss, and Little Big Town. The final performance of the night gave the audience a preview of Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty 360 Tour when she invited tourmates Maddie and Tae and the group Runaway June to the stage for an unbelievable compilation of songs ending with her very own track Cry Pretty.
CMT claims that the show hit record number of viewers, which is a sign to all radio executives that women want to be heard on the radio. Follow CMT on YouTube to see the performances from the 2018 CMT Artist of the Year Event.