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If the 2022 CMT Music Awards had an MVP, Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown would be neck and neck for the win. Ballerini found out days before the awards show that she had COVID-19 and would not be able to perform her duties as planned. While she and her team found ways for her to participate in the show from home, Brown stepped in at the last minute to help actor Anthony Mackie with his in-house hosting duties.
CMT sent a backdrop and part of the pink carpet, and Ballerini set up studio lighting in her home. She performed from her backyard and made several costume changes throughout the night.
Ballerini’s kick-save was one of many memorable productions from the 2022 CMT Music Awards, which originally aired Monday night on CBS. However, you can catch Ballerini’s performance at home, do-it-yourself awards plus other elaborate performances from stars like Carrie Underwood, Cody Johnson, Walker Hayes, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert and more , plus an additional 30 minutes of new performances. and additional content on CMT Music Awards Extended Cut at 8 p.m. ET Friday.
The extended version of the show includes never-before-seen performances from Cole Swindell, Lainey Wilson, Jason Aldean and Cody Johnson. As for highlights from the original show, here are some of our favorites:
1. Carrie Underwood – “Ghost Story”
Carrie Underwood reached new heights at this year’s CMT Music Awards.
Hours before the awards telecast, Underwood teased how her fans should be prepared for a premiere of the country music queen: “I’m going to take my performance to new heights and do something I’ve NEVER DONE BEFORE,” Underwood wrote on her instagram.
And the “Denim & Rhinestones” singer didn’t disappoint. At the CMT Music Awards, Underwood performed not from Nashville, but from the stage at Resorts World Theater in Las Vegas where she currently performs on her live show, REFLECTION: THE LAS VEGAS RESIDENCY.
Underwood treated viewers to a performance of her new single, “Ghost Story,” rocking her own fuchsia fashion, on a stage bathed in purple. As she sang her hit song, Underwood was flanked by aerial acrobats, suspended from the ceiling by silk ribbons. Underwood then grabbed her own ribbon and soared skyward, and suspended above the stage, ending up swinging upside down as she closed her hauntingly beautiful number.
“Ghost Story” is the lead single from Underwood’s upcoming studio album, DENIM & RHINESTONES, which will be released on June 10.
2. Cody Johnson – “Until You Can’t”
Cody Johnson is already the winner of the 2022 CMT Music Awards, taking home the first digital video of the year on the red carpet before the show. But Johnson felt like he had already won because he knew he could perform his recent No. 1 hit “Til You Can’t” on the show.
“My goal with this is to take what I do with my authentic brand of country music that I’ve spent my life developing and bring it to people who may not have had the opportunity to. ‘hear,’ Johnson said. “The CMT Awards are an opportunity to be on national television and say, ‘Hey, that cowboy hat ain’t fake. That belt buckle ain’t fake. That voice and that presentation, that isn’t wrong. I think hard work and perseverance is something we lack in society. It’s something that ‘Til You Can’t’ personifies.”
Johnson brought “Til You Can’t” to life on Lower Broadway at Monday night’s awards show. Fans braved the rain to hear the cowboy deliver his life-long anthem. “Til You Can’t” is taken from Johnson’s double album “Human”. As he sang to make every moment count, country music fans did just that. The red and purple lights from the stage reflected on their faces as Johnson’s Texas drawl carried him passionately throughout the song as they sang. Jack’s Bar-BQ and The Second Fiddle shone behind him, as did a Texas dance hall he’s no doubt familiar with.
“It’s been 15 years of hard work,” Johnson said. “To even have the opportunity to play there is great. That means what we do is work in country music. My brand of country music is kind of accepted into this pendulum swing.
3. Jimmie Allen with Monica and Little Big Town – “Pray”
Jimmie Allen, Monica and Little Big Town took the CMT Music Awards audience to the church Monday night when they brought their collaboration, “Pray,” from Allen’s 2020 “Bettie James” to life on stage.
Fog wafted across the stage as Allen perched at the piano and opened the song, his voice wrapping around the emotional and unifying lyrics like warm honey.
He sings: 7:30 from Nashville| Airplane bottles on my tray|The skies start shaking| It is the hand of a stranger that I take| We pray, hmm, yeah
Monica and Little Big Town emerged to join him as scenes of people of different faiths praying, peaceful protests and candlelight vigils filtered across the screen.
They sing: I lost my religion | I’ve been in and out of faith | What it is and what it isn’t | Well, that’s not for me to say | We stand in different churches | And we call it different names | But in the end we pray, hey-hey
“As soon as I heard that song, I felt like it was too big for me alone,” Allen said. “I felt like I wanted help and wanted to attract other artists who had something special about them.”
Allen said the CMT Music Awards performance was the first time the artists had sung the song together in the same room. He wanted their moment on stage to focus on love, hope, peace, and people in trouble.
“We all pray for different things,” he said. “We are praying for financial help. We pray for fixed relationships. We pray for help after natural disasters. And we pray for peace. Everything must be unifying. I don’t think any one group of people should get all the attention when it comes to struggles. We all struggle. It’s important to take care of yourself, but we’re not the only ones going through things.
4. The Judds – “Love Can Build a Bridge”
With the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as their backdrop, ’80s country icons The Judds made a strong comeback to the awards show stage Monday night when they reunited to perform “Love Can Build a Bridge” with full gospel support. choral.
Wynonna’s voice rang out as loud and sure as ever as she delivered the song’s meaningful lyrics about love mending the broken pieces of the world.
“It’s really happening,” Wynonna said, looking at her mom Naomi during the song.
The duo’s vocals mingled with the same smoke and fire that has captivated country music fans for the past four decades. The gospel choir joined in and, with the starry sky as a backdrop, it felt like a piece of country music history. The Judds’ appearance at the CMT Music Awards marks their first awards show in over 20 years.
Kacey Musgraves introduced The Judds, soon to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She called them “undeniably iconic” and explained that their unique sound and prolific songwriting have bolstered their historic career. The mother-daughter duo have earned 14 No. 1 songs and five platinum albums throughout their journey through country music. They also revealed their latest tour on Monday. The 10-show series kicks off September 30 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
5. Cole Swindell and Lainey Wilson – “Never Say Never”
As Cole Swindell built his enviable career, he never got the chance to play the bars on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. When he and Lainey Wilson made the primetime debut of their hit “Never Say Never” in the middle of Nashville’s famed Lower Broadway during the 2022 CMT Music Awards, he felt like he had the chance to tell them. all play at the same time.
“I’m playing here with the fans,” Swindell enthused. “I look at the roofs, all that. It’s pretty cool to be in the middle of it all.
Swindell and Wilson are nominated in the Best Video of the Year category as well as Collaborative Video of the Year.
“Never Say Never,” the follow-up to Swindell’s 10th No. 1 song “Single Saturday Night,” is from his new album “Stereotype” which was released April 8.
“Being recognized for something you believe in never gets old, and that song and the reaction from day one has been amazing,” Swindell said. “Nominations and performances are never guaranteed, no matter who you are. I can’t wait to play live with Lainey. This is what you always hope for, but it doesn’t always happen. I’m just proud to have the team I make fighting for those opportunities.
Wilson agreed, calling it a “big moment.”
“I always dreamed of having a great performance and being part of the show,” she said. “And here we are.”
Wilson marvels at how quickly the song continues to succeed – and the universal adoration “Never Say Never” enjoys. It took 40 weeks for “Things a Man Oughta Know” to hit No. 1, but “Never Say Never” hit the Top 5 in just 20 weeks.
“I’m used to climbing walls trying to gain momentum,” she says. “And this thing just grew a pair of wings. People love him on all levels. There was not a single negative comment on the song, which is rare. I don’t know how I will ever be able to thank (Cole) because it’s been a blessing to my journey.