The last year has been a whirlwind of success for Lainey Wilson. From earning chart-topping hits to scoring a spot on Season 5 of Yellowstone, the country hitmaker has proven she is not slowing down anytime soon. CMT recognized Wilson’s rapid rise to fame and chose to name her the 2022 CMT Breakout Artist Of The Year.
Introduced by Yellowstone’s Kelsey Asbille, Wilson accepted the prestigious honor while wearing a mustard yellow floral bell-bottoms ensemble and hat.
“Haha! Long way from the camper trailer days. I moved here in a flagstaff 20 foot camper trailer. Was known as the camper trailer girl, but I was fine with it as long as people knew me,” Wilson began. “All I have ever wanted is a chance and I’m looking around the room right now and probably a lot of people watching this too. Whether you let me play your bar. Whether you sat down and wrote a song with me. Whether you took a meeting with me and passed on me. It don’t matter, I still took that as a chance and I saw a better moment.”
She went on to dedicate her award to her family and father, who recently returned home from an extensive hospital stay.
“Country music is truly my life. This one right now is, it goes to my family. My family has been going through a really hard time the last few months, my deddy has been in the hospital,” Wilson continued. ”He actually came home today. So thank y’all so much for real, I feel like every single person in the crowd right now, I’m looking around. It just seems like y’all are my family here in Nashville and this is a dream come true, and we’re just getting started. Let’s go!”
Wilson also performed “Heart Like A Truck” during the star-studded CMT Artists Of The Year celebration.
The reigning ACM New Female Artist Of The Year and iHeartRadio Music Awards’ Best New Country Artist confidently belted out the lyrics to the fan-favorite tune.
“I got a heart like a truck / It’s been drug through the mud / Runs on dreams and gasoline / And that ole highway holds the key / It’s got a lead foot down when it’s leaving / Lord knows it’s taken a hell of a beating / A little bit of love is all that it’s needing / But it’s good as it is tough / I got a heart like a truck,” Wilson sang on the chorus.
The 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year celebrated the success Carly Pearce, Kane Brown, Cody Johnson, Luke Combs and Walker Hayes have seen throughout the past year.
Alan Jackson was honored as the CMT Artist Of A Lifetime. The prestigious honor, presented by Ram Trucks, was previously awarded to Randy Travis (2021), Reba McEntire (2019), Loretta Lynn (2018), Shania Twain (2016), Kenny Rogers (2015) and Merle Haggard (2014).
Lainey Wilson was named the 2022 CMT Breakout Artist Of The Year. Wilson is the fifth recipient of the award, following Mickey Guyton (2021), Ashley McBryde (2019), Kelsea Ballerini (2016), and Chris Stapleton (2015).
The 90-minute concert event featured performances from Jackson, Pearce, Johnson, Brown and Wilson. Hayes joined forces with Ciara for a never-before-seen performance of their “Y’all Life” remix. Riley Green also took the stage to honor Luke Combs.
A heartwarming tribute to the late Loretta Lynn, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 90, also took place during the star-studded event when her sisters, Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright, performed in her honor.
In addition to a star-studded list of performances, the show also included presenters: Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Dustin Lynch, Rascal Flatts’ frontman Gary LeVox, Kelsea Ballerini, Yellowstone’s Kelsey Asbille, and Shane McAnally.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared remotely from his annual Dale Jr. Foundation charity event in North Carolina to present Combs with his 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year award.
The 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year premiered on Friday, October 14 at 9/8c on CMT.