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Go Inside the Most Talked About Moments from the CMT Awards

Credit: jenniferlinneaphotography from Denver, CO, USA

The Country Music Television Awards saw major nominations this year with Jelly Roll’s first nomination and hosting by returning artists Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown. Nobody expected the drama that would incur at this year’s CMT Awards. In case you missed what happened or need to catch up on the aftermath, we’ve got it all mapped out.

What we saw…

Drag Queen Takeover

The performance by Kelsea Ballerini at the 2023 CMT Awards is tearing fans apart. Her rendition of “If You Go Down I Go Down Too” brought RuPaul-vetted drag queens Kennedy Davenport, Manila Luzon, Jan Sport, and Oliva Lux on stage with her. While no direct speech was made, this was clearly a moment of activism. One month ago, legislation in Tennessee passed to limit access to public drag shows within the state. In rebellion, Ballerini brought drag queens in front of 5.68 million viewers during the awards. While some counter that the country artists needs to remember her audience, others are proud of the Ballerini’s stand for LGBTQ+ culture.

Jelly Roll’s Debut Award Sweep

Jelly Roll is fairly new in the world of country. “Son of a Sinner” was his first song to hit the charts. During his first time being considered for CMT Awards nominations, he received nominations in three separate categories – a huge deal for a first timer. Jelly Roll surprised fans by taking home all three awards in the categories he was nominated for, being the most highly awarded artist of 2023’s CMTs.

What they wore…

Gwen Stefani Dresses in Shag Carpet

Gwen Stefani showed up at the CMT Awards alongside husband Blake Shelton in an extra long tie and blazer with a short, glittery mini-skirt. Nothing special there… until you see her shoes. From knee to toe, Gwen wore thick, long black shag as shoes. Not surprisingly, Gwen is still receiving backlash from the fashion moment.

Shania Twain Shows Some Skin

At age 57, Shania Twain still isn’t afraid to let it all hang out with two daring outfits in one night. On the carpet, she wore a red and black sheer dress with side cutouts and (most dangerously of all) an *extra* high slit. Her lengthy train nearly caused her to fall in her high-heeled platforms. Luckily, no mishaps occurred in front of the cameras, and Shania safely entered the event. Upon receiving her Equal Play award, Shania wore a teeny-tiny, sparkly and purple cropped two piece that showed off her entire midriff and thighs. She wore a black cowboy hat and black thigh-high boots to match. Shania Twain stands by her decision for all these revealing outfits, saying that fashion is “one of [her] favorite things about attending award shows” and that “life is too short” to worry about what other people think.

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