Kane Brown, Carrie Underwood & More Record-Setters at 2021 CMT Music Awards

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Kane Brown was the only multiple winner at the 2021 CMT Music Awards, which were held Wednesday (June 9) at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. He took two awards: male video of the year for “Worship You” and collaborative video of the year for “Famous Friends,” a collab with Chris Young.

These are Brown’s second wins in both categories. He shared the collaborative video award three years ago with Lauren Alaina for “What Ifs” and won the male video award two years ago for “Lose It.”

Brown co-hosted the show for the second year in a row, this time with Kelsea Ballerini. Ballerini also went home a winner. She and Halsey won CMT performance of the year for “The Other Girl,” which they performed on last year’s CMT Music Awards.

Here are some of the records set by this year’s CMT Music Awards winners.

Carrie Underwoodwon video of the year for the ninth time for “Hallelujah,” on which she teamed with John Legend. Underwood has more wins in this category than any other artist. (Taylor Swift and Keith Urban are tied for second place with three each.) This is the first time a collab video has won for video of the year. Legend is the first Black artist, and in fact the first non-country artist, to win in this category. (Oddly, the Underwood/Legend video didn’t win for collaborative video of the year. It was nominated, but lost to the Young/Brown video.)

Gabby Barrett won her first female video of the year award for “The Good Ones,” a song from her first studio album, Goldmine. Barrett won breakthrough video of the year last year for “I Hope.” She’s the first artist to climb from breakthrough video of the year to female video of the year since Swift, who won the breakthrough award in 2007 for “Tim McGraw” and the female video award the following year for “Our Song.”

Little Big Town won duo/group of the year for “Wine, Beer, Whiskey,” following three wins for group video of the year (for “Girl Crush,” “Better Man” and “When Someone Stops Loving You”). Just two groups have won more awards in this category: Rascal Flatts (seven) and Lady A (five, back when they were known as Lady Antebellum). “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” is from LBT’s ninth studio album, Nightfall.

Dylan Scott’s “Nobody” took breakthrough video of the year. Scott is the first male artist to win in this category since Chris Stapleton took it five years ago for “Fire Away.” The award went in the last four years to a succession of female artists: Alaina, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde and Barrett. This breakthrough is a long time coming for Scott, who released his only full-length album to date nearly five years ago. The music video for “Nobody” includes Scott’s wife Blair Robinson and their two kids, Beckett Scott and Finley Gray.

As noted above, Ballerini and Halsey won CMT performance of the year for “The Other Girl.” The collab was the second single from Ballerini’s third studio album, Kelsea, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200. This category honors the best performance on a CMT program. Previous winners have been from CMT Crossroads and CMT Artists of the Year, among other CMT shows.

Linda Martell, the first Black female singer to play the Grand Ole Opry, was the second winner of the CMT Equal Play Award, following Jennifer Nettles last year. In 1969, Martell had two top 40 hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart (as it was called then) – a cover version of The Winstons’ “Color Him Father” (which was a top 10 hit on both the Hot 100 and Best Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles) and an early version of “Before the Next Teardrop Falls,” which went on to become a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 and Hot Country Singles charts in 1975 for Freddy Fender.

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