WATCH: Gabby Barrett Puts New Spin on ‘The Good Ones’ During CMT Artists of the Year 2021

CMT Artists of the Year honoree Gabby Barrett took the stage at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Wednesday evening for…


Lauren Jo Black

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October 13, 2021


9:05 pm

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Gabby Barrett; Photo by Getty Images for CMT

CMT Artists of the Year honoree Gabby Barrett took the stage at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Wednesday evening for a performance of “The Good Ones” that fans won’t soon forget.

Serving up a new take of her chart-topping single, Barrett was joined by her husband, Cade Foehner, and several musicians, as well as vocalists from Nashville-area universities. The moody rendition of “The Good Ones” gave new life to the beloved track, which Barrett co-wrote alongside Emily Landis, Jim McCormick and Zach Kale.


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Ahead of the show, Barrett opened up about being honored as one of five CMT Artists of the Year and shared what it means to her to be included among the mix.

“It’s very heartwarming to be acknowledged by the country music community,” she gushed. “I wasn’t expecting so quickly to get so much love, which I appreciate so much from everybody just welcoming me with open arms, and it’s really exciting to be acknowledged with all of these humongous names in the category as well, so I’m just really excited.”

2021 CMT Artists of the Year special aired live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

The show honored Randy Travis with the highly-coveted Artist of a Lifetime title, Barrett, Chris Stapleton, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs as the 2021 Artists of the Year and Mickey Guyton with the Breakout Artist of the Year honor.

The 90-minute special, which aired on Wednesday, October 13 at 9/8c, also featured performances by Combs and more.

Gabby Barrett; Photo Courtesy Getty Images for CMT
Gabby Barrett; Photo Courtesy Getty Images for CMT

Additionally, the ceremony included several star-studded collaborations and tributes, including Boyz II Men with Kevin Olusola of Pentatonix honoring Stapleton, Brown paying homage to Travis, and Mickey Guyton performing “Remember Her Name” with Yola. Ballerini joined forces with the Jonas Brothers for a cover of a Joe Cocker hit.

Making his award show debut, Walker Hayes closed out the show with a performance of “Fancy Like.”

Eric Church, Lady A, Nelly, Connie Britton, Michael W. Smith, Copeland, Morgan Evans and CMT’s Cody Alan made special appearances as presenters throughout the evening as well.

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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.