And the 2021 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year is Carly Pearce!
Country music’s leading lady was presented with the trophy on Wednesday evening during the 55th Annual CMA Awards and was completely overcome with emotions when she heard her name announced.
Pearce shared a kiss with her boyfriend, Nashville Realtor and former MLB player Riley King, before being pulled on to the stage by her friend, collaborator and fellow nominee, Ashley McBryde.
“I really didn’t think this was going to happen,” Pearce said while sobbing, before asking her “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” duet partner, McBryde, for “help.”
As McBryde joined Pearce on stage, she took to the microphone saying, “what she meant to say was there’s a lot of love, respect and admiration in this category.”
— Carly P Connect (@CarlyP_Connect) November 11, 2021
Pearce then wiped away her tears as she said, “I want to thank God! I want to thank my record label, Scott Borchett and Big Machine Records… I’ve had just a crazy year and I just wanted to let you know that this means everything to me.”
“Country music saved me in a time I needed it most,” Pearce continued. ”I just want you guys to know that this is all I’ve ever wanted in the entire world and I just hope you know that country music is all I love, so thank you so much!”
Also nominated in the Female Vocalist of the Year category were Gabby Barrett, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde and Maren Morris.
The Country Music Association states that this award goes to the artist and is based on individual musical performance on a solo country single or album release, as well as the overall contribution to country music. The nomination period for the 2021 show is July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
The 55th Annual CMA Awards featured performances from Luke Combs, Jimmie Allen, Gabby Barrett, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Dan + Shay, Jennifer Hudson, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band.
Additionally, the show included star-studded collaborations by Chris Young and Kane Brown, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde, Mickey Guyton, Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards, Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, BRELAND and HARDY.
Country singers Trace Adkins, Ingrid Andress, Kelsea Ballerini, Deana Carter, Russell Dickerson, Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Lady A, Scotty McCreery, Darius Rucker, Lainey Wilson, and Trisha Yearwood were on hand to present during the ceremony.
Lauren Daigle, Faith Fennidy, Freddie Freeman, Amy Grant, Dulé Hill, Elle King, Zachary Levi, Hayley Orrantia, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Susan Sarandon, Saycon Sengbloh and Kurt Warner also made special appearances throughout the broadcast.
Hosted by Luke Bryan, the 2021 CMA Awards broadcasted live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 8/7c on ABC.