Country music’s wildest party of the year turned it up a notch as hosts Erin Andrews and J.J. Watt led a star-studded event at the “2016 CMT Music Awards” live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Carrie Underwood owned the night, winning “Female Video of the Year” and “CMT Performance of the Year” for “Smoke Break” and surpassing her own record for the most wins in the show’s history with a grand total of 15.
Tim McGraw scored his first-ever “Video of the Year” win, the biggest award of the night, marking his first win since 2005. Blake Shelton nabbed the inaugural CMT #SocialSuperstar Award, honoring artists that are pioneering social media as a tool to regularly interact with fans through a multitude of platforms and apps.
It was a night of firsts as several artists walked away with their first ever “CMT Music Awards” including Chris Stapleton (“Breakthrough Video of the Year”), Little Big Town (“Group/Duo Video of the Year”), and Thomas Rhett (“Male Video of the Year.”)
The show kicked off with a triple shot of star power. Keith Urban and tour mates Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris performed “Wasted Time,” followed by Billy Ray Cyrus andCheap Trick with a mash-up of “Don’t Be Cruel,” a nod to his starring role on “Still The King,” and “Surrender” right in the heart of Nashville’s downtown, overflowing with fans on the streets and rooftops. Pitbull then carried on the party inside the Bridgestone Arena with a one-time-only performance of his hit “Messin’ Around” with female powerhouses Leona Lewis and Cassadee Pope.
The evening was dominated by killer collaborations, including Little Big Town and Pharrell Williams (“One Dance”), Blake Shelton and The Oak Ridge Boys (“Doing It To A Country Song”/“Elvira”), Dierks Bentley and Elle King (“Different For Girls”), Fifth Harmony and Cam(“Mayday”/”Work From Home”). Other must-see performances included Carrie Underwood(“Church Bells”), Chris Stapleton (“Parachute”), Florida Georgia Line (“H.O.L.Y.”), Jason Aldean (“Lights Come On”), Luke Bryan (“Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”) and Thomas Rhett (“T-Shirt”). Go to CMT.com to watch and share performances.
Keeping with show tradition, the Awards featured a short film produced by CMT that spoofed the production with hosts Erin Andrews and J.J. Watt working in CMT offices and being interrupted by CMT “employees” Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean,Darius Rucker and Billy Ray Cyrus, with special appearances by Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and former host Kristen Bell.
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video of the year; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or collaboration) and the video director. Final nominees announced during live telecast, with final voting held online at CMT.com during the show.
- Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”
FEMALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a female artist; awarded to the artist
- Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break”
MALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a male artist; awarded to the artist
- Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man"
GROUP / DUO VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a group or duo; awarded to the artists
- Little Big Town – “Girl Crush”
BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video from an artist's major breakthrough album; awarded to the artist (male, female or group/duo)
- Chris Stapleton – “Fire Away”
CMT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT; awarded to the artist (individual, group or duo)
- Carrie Underwood – “Smoke Break” (From CMT Instant Jam)
CMT #SOCIALSUPERSTAR AWARD
The award honors artists who are pioneering social media as a tool to regularly interact with fans through a multitude of platforms and apps.
- Blake Shelton
Additional airings of the “CMT Music Awards” include the following: Thursday, June 9 at 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.; Saturday, June 11 at 12:00 p.m.; Sunday June 12 at 6:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. All times are ET/PT.