Underwood wins at CMT Awards; Gladys Knight, H.E.R. perform

  • In this combination photo, Carrie Underwood accepts the award for video of the year for "Hallelujah," from left, and H.E.R and Gladys Knight appear on the red carpet at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

    In this combination photo, Carrie Underwood accepts the award for video of the year for "Hallelujah," from left, and H.E.R and Gladys Knight appear on the red carpet at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

  • Carrie Underwood performs "I Wanna Remember" with NEEDTOBREATHE at the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. The awards show airs on June 9 with both live and prerecorded segments.

    Carrie Underwood performs "I Wanna Remember" with NEEDTOBREATHE at the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. The awards show airs on June 9 with both live and prerecorded segments. Associated Press

  • Jimi Westbrook, from left, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, and Philip Sweet of Little Big Town accept the award for group/duo video of the year for "Wine, Beer, Whiskey" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

    Jimi Westbrook, from left, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, and Philip Sweet of Little Big Town accept the award for group/duo video of the year for "Wine, Beer, Whiskey" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

  • Philip Sweet, from left, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town arrive at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

    Philip Sweet, from left, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town arrive at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

  • Charles Kelley, left, and Hillary Scott of Lady A perform "Like A Lady" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

    Charles Kelley, left, and Hillary Scott of Lady A perform "Like A Lady" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

  • Lindsay Ell performs "Like A Lady" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

    Lindsay Ell performs "Like A Lady" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

  • Philip Sweet, from left, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town arrive at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

    Philip Sweet, from left, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town arrive at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

  • Chris Stapleton performs at the 50th annual CMA Awards on Nov. 2, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn., left, and H.E.R. performs at Lollapalooza on Aug. 1, 2019, in Chicago.  Stapleton and fellow guitar slayer H.E.R. are joining forces onstage at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards show celebrating the year's best country music videos. The event will air at 8 p.m. Eastern.

    Chris Stapleton performs at the 50th annual CMA Awards on Nov. 2, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn., left, and H.E.R. performs at Lollapalooza on Aug. 1, 2019, in Chicago. Stapleton and fellow guitar slayer H.E.R. are joining forces onstage at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards show celebrating the year's best country music videos. The event will air at 8 p.m. Eastern. Associated Press

  • Gladys Knight sings the national anthem before the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game on Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta, left, and Mickey Guyton performs at the 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 16, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Knight and Guyton will perform together onstage at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards show celebrating the year's best country music videos. The event will air at 8 p.m. Eastern.

    Gladys Knight sings the national anthem before the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game on Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta, left, and Mickey Guyton performs at the 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 16, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Knight and Guyton will perform together onstage at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards show celebrating the year's best country music videos. The event will air at 8 p.m. Eastern. Associated Press

  • A view of the stage appears before the start of the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

    A view of the stage appears before the start of the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

  • In this video image provided by CMT, Chris Stapleton performs "Arkansas" at the CMT Music Awards, airing on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (CMT via AP)

    In this video image provided by CMT, Chris Stapleton performs "Arkansas" at the CMT Music Awards, airing on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (CMT via AP) Associated Press

  • In this video image provided by CMT, Chris Stapleton performs "Arkansas" at the CMT Music Awards, airing on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (CMT via AP)

    In this video image provided by CMT, Chris Stapleton performs "Arkansas" at the CMT Music Awards, airing on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (CMT via AP) Associated Press

  • Carrie Underwood accepts the award for video of the year for "Hallelujah" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

    Carrie Underwood accepts the award for video of the year for "Hallelujah" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

  • Charles Kelley, left, Hillary Scott, second right, and Dave Haywood, right, of Lady A, and Carly Pearce from second left perform "Like A Lady" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. In the background looking on are Stacy Johnson, left, and Kasi Jones of The Shindellas.

    Charles Kelley, left, Hillary Scott, second right, and Dave Haywood, right, of Lady A, and Carly Pearce from second left perform "Like A Lady" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. In the background looking on are Stacy Johnson, left, and Kasi Jones of The Shindellas. Associated Press

  • Luke Bryan performs "Down to One" at the CMT Music Awards on May 12, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. The awards show airs on June 9 with both live and prerecorded segments.

    Luke Bryan performs "Down to One" at the CMT Music Awards on May 12, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. The awards show airs on June 9 with both live and prerecorded segments. Associated Press

  • Jon Pardi, left, and Lauren Alaina perform "Getting Over Him" at the CMT Music Awards on May 20, 2021, in Franklin, Tenn. The awards show airs on June 9 with both live and prerecorded segments.

    Jon Pardi, left, and Lauren Alaina perform "Getting Over Him" at the CMT Music Awards on May 20, 2021, in Franklin, Tenn. The awards show airs on June 9 with both live and prerecorded segments. Associated Press

  • Jon Pardi performs "Getting Over Him" with Lauren Alaina at the CMT Music Awards on May 20, 2021, in Franklin, Tenn. The awards show airs on June 9 with both live and prerecorded segments.

    Jon Pardi performs "Getting Over Him" with Lauren Alaina at the CMT Music Awards on May 20, 2021, in Franklin, Tenn. The awards show airs on June 9 with both live and prerecorded segments. Associated Press

  • Thomas Rhett performs "Country Again" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

    Thomas Rhett performs "Country Again" at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/9/2021 9:48 PM

NEW YORK -- Carrie Underwood has another reason to rejoice - she extended her record as the most decorated artist in the history of the CMT Music Awards, thanks to her song 'œHallelujah.'

The music video for the singer's hit, a collaboration with John Legend, was named video of the year at Wednesday's show, which aired from Nashville, Tennessee.

 

Underwood, who now has 23 CMT Awards, thanked her die-hard fans while accepting the honor: 'œYou're the reason we're all here doing what we do, doing what we love (and) making music videos."

She also shouted-out Legend, particularly for sending her the song, which appeared on her first holiday album 'œMy Gift."

'œCongratulations on what I think is your first CMT Award. Whoa!" she exclaimed.

Though Underwood owned part of the night - she also performed with rock band NEEDTOBREATHE - other female stars, some outside of country music, took over the awards show honoring the year's best country music videos.

Grammy-winning R&B star H.E.R. and fellow guitar slayer Chris Stapleton had the night's best performance. They joined forces for a smoky, thrilling performance of 'œHold On," coming off like a veteran duo.

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The legendary Gladys Knight won over audience members - not wearing masks - during a performance of 'œFriendship Train" with Mickey Guyton. Part of the show felt dedicated to Black female voices thanks to the top notch performances by Knight, H.E.R. and Guyton, who was nominated for two awards and presented the CMT Equal Play Award to Linda Martell, one of the pioneering Black acts in country music and the first Black woman to perform solo at the Grand Ole Opry.

Martell had a country hit with the song 'œColor Me Country" 50 years ago, and she had other songs reach the charts, but she dealt with major hardships. She experienced racism while performing onstage and was shunned by the music industry as a mainstream country performer. Her record label shelved her album and she was prohibited from finding a new deal.

'œHearing Linda sing makes it very clear that she had all the talent to be a huge star but her career was cut short for one reason: the color of her skin," said Guyton, who made history this year as the first solo Black woman nominated for a country Grammy Award.

'œI would not be standing here today without you, and none of us would be here without you, so thank you!"

Martell, 86, didn't attend the awards show but CMT aired photos of the icon holding her award and said she was watching the show from her home in South Carolina.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Guyton also hit the stage with BRELAND, the Black singer who has mixed country, trap and R&B music and had a country hit with the platinum success 'œMy Truck."

And the night featured more collaborative performances like it.

Lady A kicked off the show with Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell, Ingrid Andress sang with pop singer-songwriter JP Saxe, while Miranda Lambert performed with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall.

Hosts Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini also performed onstage and won awards.

Brown won male video of the year for 'œWorship You' and collaborative video of the year for 'œFamous Friends' with Chris Young. CMT performance of the year went to Ballerini and Halsey's 'œThe Other Girl' from the 2020 CMT Music Awards.

Gabby Barrett, who was originally supposed to perform at the show but backed out, won female video of the year and the best family feature award went to Taylor Swift's 'œThe Best Day (Taylor's Version)," which was re-released this year and featured home movies starring the pop star, her brother and parents.

Little Big Town's 'œWine, Beer, Whiskey" won the night's first award - duo/group video of the year.

'œThis is awesome. First of all, we're back and making music people," Kimberly Schlapman yelled, referring to the pandemic.

'œI know you like drinking songs," Karen Fairchild added.

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