country moves south
CMT Music Awards announce nominees for first-ever Austin show
Austin’s pride for local musicians runs deep, and festivals bring the really big names the city can’t claim; One thing the city is fairly new at is hosting national award shows, and the fan-voted CMT Music Awards give Austin a chance to participate in the shmaltz while leaning into its country side. The ceremony is scheduled for April 2 at Moody Center, hosted by 2023 nominees Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini and airing live on CBS.
This is the first year in the award ceremony’s 56-year history that it will be held in Austin, rather than Nashville where Country Music Television (CMT) is based. Ballerini announced the change at Moody Center while one of country music’s top talents, Carrie Underwood, was performing a sold-out show.
Underwood is the most awarded artist in the history of the awards, carrying a total of 25 wins, and will perform at the ceremony. She is nominated for two awards in 2023, for Video of the Year (“Hate My Heart”) and Female Video of the Year (“Ghost Story”).
In the same two categories, 2022 Breakout Artist of the Year Lainey Wilson holds nominations (“wait in the truck” and “Heart Like A Truck,” respectively), plus two more in Collaborative Video of the Year and CMT Performance of the Year. This collection of four nominations puts Wilson in the spotlight as the most-nominated performer of 2023, followed by former small-town Texan Cody Johnson, first-time nominee Jelly Roll, and co-host Kane Brown, with three each.
New in 2023 is the distinction between Male and Female Breakthrough Video of the Year, expanding the categories to 12 acts total. This means seven out of the nine categories are music video-based, with the remaining two representing performances on the network or its social media channels.
One Austin-based performer stands out among the 21 first-time nominees: Charley Crockett has been making a name locally, beyond the usual confines for country music, appearing both at Austin City Limits Festival and debuting on Austin City Limits Live in 2022. He also won Musician of the Year and Best Country at the Austin Music Awards the same year.
Another Austin breakout of the past few years, Black Pumas, receives a nomination along with other non-Country acts (including Katy Perry, with her first nomination since 2015).
See all the nominees and vote at vote.cmt.com. Tickets are on sale now at moodycenteratx.com. Tune in live at 7 pm on CBS, or stream on demand on Paramount+.