The energy was electric at the first-ever People’s Choice Country Awards at the Grand Ole Opry house last night (Sept. 28).
The show, which aired live on NBC and Peacock, was expertly hosted by Little Big Town. The quartet kicked off the show with an exciting rendition of their 2005 hit “Boondocks,” which got the entire Opry house on their feet.
Throughout the night, stylish, cylindrical awards were presented to the night’s winners, which were determined by fan voting.
Jelly Roll led the winners list, nabbing New Artist of the Year, Male Artist and Song (“Need A Favor”), and Collaboration Song (“Save Me” with Lainey Wilson). Jelly couldn’t be there, as he was out on his “Backroad Baptism Tour,” but he joined live from Cincinnati to accept Male Artist of the Year—presented by tour-mate Elle King. Closing out the awards, he perform his winning-song “Save Me” via video feed from his live concert.
Wilson was at the podium multiple times, her shimmery jumpsuit shining like the star she is. In addition to her win with Jelly Roll, Wilson took home Female Artist of the Year and Music Video of the Year with Hardy‘s “Wait In The Truck.”
Hardy made his first-ever appearance on the Grand Ole Opry stage during the broadcast, performing an exciting rendition of “Truck Bed.” Dan + Shay, who took home the award for best Group/Duo of 2023, performed “Bigger Houses” off their new album of the same name.
In some of the highlights of the evening, Toby Keith was honored with the Country Icon Award and Wynonna Judd was presented with the Country Champion Award.
Blake Shelton honored Keith with a fun performance of “Who’s Your Daddy” and then presented the award. He shared that Keith is “the man who taught [him] more about performing than anyone else.” After accepting the award, Keith performed his song “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” sounding better than ever on the poignant tune.
Brothers Osborne presented Judd with her award. After taking the stage to perform her iconic hits “I Saw the Light” and “No One Else on Earth,” she accepted the award. Judd spoke about her Country Music Hall of Fame induction the day after her mother’s death, saying, “That’s how much we love music—regardless of what has happened to me and who, I show up and I show out.”
In a funny moment during the show, Shelton was awarded with the fan-voted Social Country Star of 2023, for his antics on social media. Shelton admitted that he didn’t know what that meant, but if the fans wanted him to have it, he was grateful.
Other winners of the night included Chris Stapleton and P!nk (Crossover Song of the Year) and Morgan Wallen (The People’s Artist, Album of 2023, Concert Tour of 2023), though they were not announced during the program. See the full list here.
Other standout moments included Kane Brown‘s electric performance of “Bury Me In Georgia,” Carly Pearce‘s heart-warming tribute to country music “Country Music Made Me Do It” and Kelsea Ballerini‘s vibey performance of “Mountain with a View.”
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