Kane Brown and Jelly Roll made history at the 2023 CMT Music Awards, which were presented on Sunday at Moody Center in Austin, Texas. The show aired on CBS for the second year in a row.
Brown became the first person in 20 years to both host or co-host the show and win the top award, video of the year. He co-hosted with Kelsea Ballerini for the third year in a row. He won video of the year for “Thank God,” his hit duet with his wife Katelyn Brown. The last person to accomplish this double feat was Toby Keith, who co-hosted the 2003 CMT Music Awards with actress Pamela Anderson and took the video of the year award for his post-9/11 song “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American).”
This is the third year in a row that a collaborative video has won video of the year. “If I Didn’t Love You” by Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood won last year. “Hallelujah” by Underwood featuring John Legend won two years ago.
Jelly Roll won both male video of the year and breakthrough male video of the year for “Son of a Sinner.” This marks the fourth time in the show’s history that someone has won the award for the year’s top male, female, group or duo video and a breakthrough award in the same year. In 2005, Gretchen Wilson took female video of the year for “When I Think About Cheatin’” and breakthrough video of the year for “Redneck Woman.” The following year, Underwood took both awards for “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” In 2013, Florida Georgia Line took breakthrough video and duo video of the year for “Cruise.”
Underwood didn’t add to her record-setting collection of 25 CMT Music Awards. She was nominated for video of the year for “Hate My Heart,” but lost to the Browns’ smash. She was nominated for female video of the year for “Ghost Story,” but lost to Lainey Wilson’s “Heart Like a Truck.” This marks the first time in 12 years that Underwood hasn’t won in at least one of those marquee categories.
Wilson, who led the pack with four nominations, won two: female video of the year for “Heart Like a Truck” and collaborative video of the year for her featured role on HARDY’s “wait in the truck.” HARDY and Wilson beat the Browns’ “Thank God” in the latter category, though there was a reversal of fortune in the video of the year category where the two videos again competed.
Zac Brown Band took group/duo video of the year for “Out in the Middle.” It’s their second win in the group video category, following a 2019 win for “Someone I Used to Know.” Rascal Flatts is the top winner in the category, with seven wins, followed by Lady A with five and Little Big Town with four.
Cody Johnson’s performance of “Til You Can’t” on last year’s CMT Music Awards won for CMT performance of the year. Johnson won male video of the year for the smash at last year’s show.
Megan Moroney’s “Tennessee Orange” won breakthrough female video of the year.