CMT honored country music’s leading women during their CMT Artists of the Year on Wednesday night. Those that were honored included Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, and Hillary Scott. Performances included Kentuckian Angaleena Presley performing with Ashley Monroe and Miranda Lambert on “Sugar Daddy.”
However, the biggest honoree would be that of Kentucky country music legend, Loretta Lynn.
Miranda Lambert introduced the special tribute in honor of Loretta Lynn by noting, “There are a lot of talented women in this room tonight, but I think we can all agree — including myself — that none of us would be here if not for Loretta Lynn.” Miranda would also go on to say, “She showed us how to pursue our dreams and speak our minds.”
Martina McBride came on stage and performed “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man).”
She was followed up with Sheryl Crow and Dierks Bentley performing “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” the hit duet by Conway and Loretta.
Unfortunately, Loretta Lynn was unable to attend the CMT Artist of the Year due to being sick. Sissy Spacek accepted the award on her behalf.
“I loved playing Loretta in Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Spacek said of her starring role in the 1980 film about Lynn’s life. “I just loved being her. I had the band, I had the bus, I had the clothes. But I think we can all agree, there’s only one Loretta Lynn.
“She’s so sorry she couldn’t be here tonight. She’s a little under the weather. I saw her earlier today, and she was so excited about this award. And she said, ‘What are you gonna wear tonight, Sissy?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know yet, Loretta.’ And she said, ‘Well, do you wanna wear one of my gowns?’
“That’s the kind of girlfriend she is.”
“From the moment we met, she’s been my cheerleader, my sister, my best friend. And it’s still like that almost 40 years later. It’s my honor to accept her award. Well done, Loretta. Well done.
“I think Loretta said it best,” she added, “‘It’s about dad-gum time we recognize women.’”
Jessica Bray is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.