From Mid-Show Beer Pong to Inspiring Performances, the Best Moments of the 2019 CMT Awards
A Game of Thrones Star Made a Surprise Appearance
To kick off the show, hosts Little Big Town pointed out that there was an infamous celebrity among the A-list audience: the "breakout star" of Game of Thrones, also known as a Starbucks coffee cup.
Eagle-eyed GoT fans were quick to point out that the recognizably modern cup of joe didn't quite fit in in Winterfell, where it made a brief appearance by mistake during the fourth episode of the series’ eighth and final season.
After a commercial break during the awards show, the camera panned back to the cup, which had been joined by a bottle of water. The hosts joked that the coffee's "date" had finally arrived — "She’s a tall drink of water, that one," they said.
Midland Handed Out Beers to Little Big Town
Midland's Mark Wystrach, Cameron Duddy and Jess Carson playfully interrupted the hosts to make sure they didn't go thirsty, doling out beers to the group as well as those seated nearby while dressed up as concession vendors.
"I can't let him host with just one beer — you gotta have some backups, man!" Wystrach yelled. The group continued to teasingly heckle the hosts as the show went on, even setting up a game of beer pong in front of the camera.
Kelsea Ballerini Lit Up the Stage
Ballerini took her performance of her hit song "Miss Me More" to the next level with pyrotechnics and a dazzling light show. The special effects gave the lyrics "I forgot I had dreams, I forgot I had wings" a particularly powerful resonance as the screen behind her lit up with a giant pair of pink wings.
Ashley McBryde Stole Luke Combs' Drink to Accept Her Award
On her way to accept the breakthrough video of the year award for "Girl Goin' Nowhere," McBryde stopped by fellow nominee Luke Combs' seat and asked to borrow his drink before heading onstage.
"I'm always awkward, and I usually bring my drink with me but I didn't have a drink, so I took Luke Combs' drink ..." she said after taking the mic.
Zac Brown Told Haters to F--- Off
The Zac Brown Band leader took the time to encourage aspiring musicians and to thank the band's longtime supporters while accepting the group video of the year award for ZBB's song "Someone I Used to Know" — and he had a message for the haters, as well.
"For you young artists, have courage to stand up against the machine, be yourself, work hard, and one day you can stand up here and tell all the haters to f--- off," he said.
Maren Morris & Sheryl Crow Stole the Spotlight
Morris was joined by the legendary musician to debut their new collaboration "Prove You Wrong" from Crow's upcoming album Threads.
Kimberly Schlapman Advocated Bringing Back the Mullet
The ladies of Little Big Town spoke out about the need for more female country stars on the radio — and Schlapman jokingly proposed a novel idea about how women could get more air time. "We need a mullet!" she said, pulling off her cowboy hat to reveal a flowing brown wig.
"Business in the front, party in the back, power on the charts!" she cheered.
Brandi Carlile & Tanya Tucker Shared the Stage with Their Fellow Female Artists
Just after the hosts pointed out that talented female country artists deserve more air time, Carlile and Tucker delighted fans by paying tribute to those women as they brought out a surprise coterie of their fellow female stars.
Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Lauren Alaina, Deana Carter, RaeLynn and Carly Pearce joined the duo on stage to deliver an emotional performance of Tucker's 1972 hit song "Delta Dawn."