What to Expect From the 2021 CMT Music Awards With Kelsea Ballerini & Kane Brown

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Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini team up to host the CMT Awards, which lets fans vote for the best in country music videos and features performances — like a Mickey Guyton/Gladys Knight duet! H.E.R. with Chris Stapleton! — in and around Nashville.

Ballerini’s playful nursing of a broken heart for her drinking song “Hole in the Bottle” puts her in contention for Female Video of the Year. Her top competition: Maren Morris, for the simple sit-and-sing “To Hell & Back,” and Miranda Lambert, who canoodles with her husband for “Settling Down.”

Brown’s romantic walk in the woods with his wife, “Worship You,” nabbed him a Male Video nod, but like his cohost, he’ll be battling Morris and Lambert (among others) — in the Collaborative Video category.

That’s where “Famous Friends,” his rockin’ rooftop meetup with Chris Young, is up against Morris’ steamy “Chasing After You” duet with hubby Ryan Hurd and — our pick — Lambert’s ’80s wedding anthem “Drunk (And I Don’t Want to Go Home)” with Elle King.

Another reason to watch: The CMT Equal Play Award will go to Linda Martell, the first Black female to perform solo at the Grand Ole Opry and a pioneer for Black women in country music.

2021 CMT Awards, 8/7c, CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network and TV Land

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