Gabby Barrett Wins Top Country Female Artist at BBMAs: ‘This Has Changed My Life Forever’

Gabby Barrett couldn’t hold back her tears when she was named Top Country Female Artist at the 2021 Billboard Music…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 23, 2021

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Gabby Barrett; Photos by Emma McIntyre, NBC

Gabby Barrett couldn’t hold back her tears when she was named Top Country Female Artist at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (May 23). 

Barrett accepted the honor from the stage of the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

“Thank you so much! Oh my God, I’m going to try to keep it together as best as I can. Oh my gosh, this is a really big deal,” Barrett shared as her husband, Cade Foehner, and members of her family watched on. “Thank you y’all so much. This means so much to me, Thank you so much to my team. I’ve been performing for 10 years really hard. My dad and my sister are here and we worked so hard to get here. Thank you so much to everybody.”

Barrett went on to thank those who mean the most to her for being by her side along the way.

“Thank you to the Lord Jesus above. Thank you Lord for everything, my husband, my sweet daughter who is back at home watching. Thank you to my dad and my sister. Everyone that supported me coming up, my label, my team Tom and Brooke you guys are the best. WME and the music industry, seriously thank you guys so much.”

The “I Hope” singer closed her acceptance speech telling fans, “You make dreams come true. This has changed my life forever.” 

The rising superstar was nominated alongside Carrie Underwood and Maren Morris in the Top Country Female Category. Prior to the show, Barrett was named the winner of Top Country Song for “I Hope” and Top Collaboration for “I Hope” featuring Charlie Puth. 

Barrett earned a total of nine BBMA nominations. 

Hosted by Nick Jonas, the 2021 BBMAs aired live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 23 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.