2022 CMT Awards: 5 Best Moments

by Jim Casey
(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for CMT)

The 2022 CMT Awards invaded Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium for a three-hour telecast on CBS on April 11. In addition to handing out trophies in nine categories, the show featured performances from more than 30 country and cross-genre stars, including Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Little Big Town, Jason Aldean, Bryan Adams, and more. And Outsider was there for the entire shindig, from start to finish.

Here are 5 of the Best Moments from the show.

1. Best Male Performance: Cody Johnson – ‘’Til You Can’t’

In addition to taking home two CMT Awards trophies (Male Video of the Year and Digital-First Performance of the Year), Cody crushed a rendition of his No. 1 hit, “’Til You Can’t.” Vocally, no one sounded better all night. After doing things his way for more than a decade, it’s great to see CoJo still doing things his way for a much bigger audience.

2. Best Female Performance: Carly Pearce – ‘Diamondback’

Carly Pearce is pure fire. Pyrotechnics are nice, but Carly totally shined during her performance of “Diamondback,” with or without the added firepower. She’s got incredible moxie. Owned the stage. Sounded great. Lots of fun.

3. Best Collaboration: Mickey Guyton & Black Pumas – ‘Colors’

Mickey teaming with the Black Pumas was not only the best collaboration of the night, but also it was my favorite performance of the night. Not sure how it came across on television, but the Municipal Auditorium crowd really enjoyed the jam. So much soul. I’m looking forward to their upcoming CMT Crossroads episode, which films later this month.

4. Best Speech – Miranda Lambert

After Miranda copped the CMT Awards trophy for Female Video of the Year (“If I was a Cowboy”), she said, in part, “I’m so happy to be just a part of the women in country music today. We’re really starting to kick some ass.” Sidebar, Miranda has been kicking ass for more than a decade. But her bigger point was noteworthy.

5. Best Honorable Mentions From CMT Awards

  1. Kane Brown – He stepped up on very, very short notice to co-host the CMT Awards with Anthony Mackie after Kelsea Ballerini tested positive for COVID. Props to Kane. Co-hosting ain’t easy. It sure isn’t easy on short notice.
  2. George Strait – George won his first-ever CMT Award (Performance of the Year) for his rendition of “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone.” While the King of Country wasn’t present, it’s always good to hear his name, especially in regard to his Charley Pride tribute.
  3. The Judds – The Judds are, in my mind, unquestionably one of the Top 5 country duos of all time. My list also includes Brooks & Dunn, The Everly Brothers, and Flatt & Scruggs. Showcasing their first televised performance in 20 years was cool, even if it wasn’t an earth-shattering rendition of “Love Can Build a Bridge.” Nonetheless, Wynonna, 57, and Naomi, 76, are still badass. I’m looking forward to their newly announced tour.
  4. Ram Stage – While the performances were extremely abbreviated, it was still nice to hear live music from some of country’s rising stars, including Parker McCollum, Caitlyn Smith, Breland, and more.
  5. Carrie Underwood – Carrie took home two awards (Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year). Carrie started the show as the most-awarded artist in CMT history with 23 career wins. Now she has 25. No one is catching up to Carrie for a while—if ever. In addition, Carrie consoled a visibly shaken Maddie Font (of Maddie & Tae) after Maddie’s offbeat acceptance speech.