Titans like Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton and more united together on Wednesday night (June 6) for the 2018 CMT Music Awards at the mecca for all things country: Nashville, Tennessee. From Sugarland's preview of their "Babe" video starring Taylor Swift to Carly Pearce's emotional acceptance speech for Breakthrough Video of the Year, the almost-two-hour affair, which was hosted by Little Big Town, was filled with performances from the cream of the crop of country music and saw CMT show love to the best in music videos and live performances within the genre. However, it wasn't entirely a country-filled night as cross-genre acts like the Backstreet Boys and Kelly Clarkson made appearances throughout the broadcast.
If you missed out on the action, iHeartRadio has you covered with a list of the biggest moments of the night. Scroll on below to see what went down at CMT's biggest night of the year.
Little Big Town Bring 'Summer Fever' (And Plenty Of Confetti)
Little Big Town pulled double duty at the 2018 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night when the four titans opened up the ceremony at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee to unveil the television debut of their uptempo new single, "Summer Fever."
Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook might not excel at choreography, but they know all about the two-step as viewers saw them turn the arena into a dance floor. With oversized spheres hanging from the ceiling and their best Beyoncé hair fans nearby, the act swayed from left to right as they crooned to the breezy summer track. Beyond the set, Karen and Kimberly rocked plenty of sequins and it matched perfectly with the rainbow confetti that poured down on the audience at the end of the number.
Carly Pearce Thanks Guy Who Broke Her Heart in Epic Awards Speech
Carly Pearce has won her first CMT Music Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year for her "Every Little Thing" music video on Wednesday, and she epically thanked the person the song was inspired by: the guy who broke her heart. After her big win, Carly tearfully ran up to the stage where she gave an emotional speech. She said:
"Oh my God! Y'all, I sat up in the stands with my mom so many years wondering if I would ever get here. Fans, you have absolutely changed everything for me, so thank you for voting for me. I want to thank Matthew Underwood for shooting this video and telling my story, Big Machine Records, Sandy Borchetta, my manager." She added, "I'm freaking out!"
Blake Shelton Performs Smooth 'Turnin' Me On'
Blake Shelton also hit the stage to perform his "Turnin' Me On" single. The co-judge of "The Voice" performed his smooth, sensual single shortly after Little Big Town opened up the awards show. With his guitar in hand and his band -- whose members also played guitars and drums -- Shelton put on a great show for all of his adoring fans who were in the audience and others who watched him from their TVs at home.
"She's turning me on, turning me on/ Pushing my buttons like it ain't no thing/ If I'm what she wants, she gets what she wants," Shelton sang effortlessly. "The neon's buzzing when she pulls that string/ Turning me on like it's her job/ Sometimes I think she must get off/ On turning me on, turning me on."
Carrie Underwood Returns To CMT Awards
Carrie Underwood had everyone on their feet when she pulled off a phenomenal performance of her new "Cry Pretty" single at the 2018 CMT Awards. This was the star's first performance at the awards show since her fall in Nov. 2017. At her CMT Awards performance on Wednesday (June 6), Underwood definitely looked a lot more stronger than before. Once again, she beautifully sang her single and everyone watching was completely mesmerized by her voice. The beauty definitely didn't miss a beat with her talented vocals.
Sugarland Previews "Babe" Music Video Starring Taylor Swift
Sugarland is a mere few days away from releasing their first album in nearly eight years, Bigger. But, the duo celebrated early by previewing the music video for their Taylor Swift-penned "Babe," and in it, Taylor makes an appearance! In the video preview, Taylor Swift plays a red-head whose love interest is Brandon Routh ... who also seems to be Jennifer Nettles' husband. The SCANDAL!
Sam Hunt Went Bar Hopping to Sing "Downtown's Dead" in Downtown Nashville
Sam Hunt had one of the coolest performances during this year's CMT Music Awards ... because he literally went bar hopping while singing his new single "Downtown's Dead." For his epic performance, Sam took over the streets of Nashville as he made his way down Broadway hopping from one bar to the next through a crowd of screaming fans (such FOMO), while singing his new song.
Chris Stapleton Brings His "Millionaire" Vocals
Chris Stapleton has a string of summer tour dates scheduled in his itinerary, but the country titan paused his schedule to brush up on his appearance and hit the 2018 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night (June 6), where he delivered a powerful performance of "Millionaire."
Instead of being at the center of Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, the 40-year-old star took over an outside stage in the city's Broadway neighborhood. Back by three bandmates, viewers went on to embrace Stapleton, his guitar, and those silky sweet vocals as he crooned "Millionaire." The mid-tempo cut is off the singer's third studio LP, From A Room: Volume 2. If you liked what you saw, make sure that you catch Stapleton on his "All-American Road Show," which will see the chart-topper performing shows until November. Tickets to the trek are currently on sale.
Backstreet Boys Perform Hot "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" Set
The Backstreet Boys hit the stage to perform their new single titled "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." Needless to say, every woman in the crowd absolutely loved it.
BSB actually had a pretty big night at the awards show. Close to the beginning of the CMT Awards, the band won the CMT Performance of the Year with Florida Georgia Line. “Seriously? Who would have thought? Who would have thought that 20 years ago, ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ came out, that these guys, Florida Georgia Line, would be singing it on stage and then we would actually do something together,” BSB’s Brian Littrell said onstage when the group accepted the honor.
But, that wasn't all of the fun BSB had during the night. The members all turned things up a notch when they performed their new "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" song, which Backstreet Boys also sang at the 2018 Wango Tango. While onstage, they gave the crowd everything that they had. Almost immediately, many women in the audience turned into their 10 and 12-year-old selves, and swooned over the boys' set.
Kelly Clarkson Puts Her Spin On "American Woman"
Little Big Town wasn't the only act that offered a live TV debut performance of new material at the awards. Just take a look at Kelly Clarkson's rocking rendition of The Guess Who's 1969 classic, "American Woman," which brought the fan-voted ceremony to soaring new heights.
Backed by a choir of females and at the center of some fog, the 36-year-old star rocked the stage in a sleek black number with fringe. "American woman, said get away/ American woman, listen what I say/ Don't come a-hangin' around my door/ Don't wanna see your face no more," she belted as the lights from her set sparkled from her feet and as part of her backdrop. Clarkson is as much of an American woman as she is a southern woman, so it was no surprise to see the star end her performance by taking a step back to leave some shine for her choir.
Darius Rucker's Star Supergroup "Troublemakers" Close Out 2018 CMT Awards
Darius Rucker officially (or maybe unofficially) has a new band, and in it are none other than Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, & Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley. They call themselves the "Troublemakers" and they closed out the 2018 CMT Music Awards. Darius, Luke, Jason, and Charles performed "Straight To Hell," which appeared on Rucker's 2017 album When Was The Last Time.
What a way to end the show!
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