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CMT Music Awards Flashback: Five Musicians Who Scored Breakthrough Video Of The Year

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by Tiffany Goldstein

4/7/2022

Come Monday (April 11), country music fans will witness several Nashville newcomers turned bona fide stars take center stage at the 2022 CMT Music Awards.

The highly anticipated ceremony hosted by Kelsea Ballerini and critically acclaimed actor Anthony Mackie will feature performances by Miranda Lambert, Kane Brown, Carrie Underwood, Cody Johnson, Keith Urban, Maren Morris + Ryan Hurd, Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, and more.

In addition to country icons, several rising stars like BRELAND, Elvie Shane, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block, Tenille Arts, and Caitlyn Smith will be acknowledged within the competitive Breakthrough Video of The Year category for their captivating clips that quickly became the talk of the town.

The next budding singer-songwriter is set to be crowned at the 2022 CMT Music Awards on Monday, April 11, from Nashville. Music-goers can tune in at 8 p.m. (ET) on CBS, but until then, CMT is looking back to see which notable names have walked away with the prestigious accolade within the last five years.

2021: Dylan Scott – “Nobody”

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Country music artist, Dylan Scott scored Breakthrough Video of the Year at the 2021 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday, June 9. The win did not come as a surprise, as country music fans fell head over heels for the love-centric melody that lives on his 2019 EP, “Nothing to Do Town.” Within “Nobody,” Scott describes his endless love for his wife, Blair Robinson. The vocalist invited his wife and two children into the music video to bring the lyrics to life.

Despite the tough competition against stars like Hailey Whitters, Niko Moon, Mickey Guyton, Little Big Town, HARDY, and Lainey Wilson – Scott received his very-first industry accolade.

“I don’t even know what to say right now, this is incredible,” he gushed in his heartfelt acceptance speech. “Thank you, CMT, my management, my record label, my beautiful wife, my kids,” he concluded.

Scott has come a long way in just one year, as he is gearing up to release his forthcoming record, “Livin’ My Best Life,” on August 5. The country crooner is currently on the road headlining the “Livin’ My Best Life Tour,” sharing the title track penned by Thomas Rhett, Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, and TikTok hit “Can’t Have Mine (Find You A Girl).”

2020: Gabby Barrett – “I Hope”

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Before Gabby Barrett raced to the top of the country music food chain, she was a budding vocalist fresh from the “American Idol” stage. The powerhouse vocalist received Breakthrough Video Of The Year for her chart-topping single, “I Hope.” Pop-culture phenomenon, Taylor Swift crowned Barrett during the 2020 CMT Music Awards.

“I was honored to win this award 13 years ago because it’s voted on by the fans. The CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year shines a light on brand new artists, and I can’t wait to hear who you chose this year,” shared Swift. “That’s amazing. Oh my gosh. Okay. I don’t even know what to say because I didn’t really think I was going to win,” Barrett fired back in pure disbelief.

The “I Hope” music video was co-directed by Taylor Kelly and Brian Vaughan. The up-tempo banger served as Barrett’s debut single from her 13-track collection, “Goldmine.”

2019: Ashley McBryde – “Girl Goin’ Nowhere”

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Country music hitmaker Ashley McBryde won the fan-voted honor for her soul-touching music video, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere.” The clip was filmed at Nashville’s chic warehouse, Marathon Music Works. While McBryde accepted her first CMT Award, tears began to swell in her eyes.

“We didn’t really expect for this video to resonate the way it did. We knew we had some really great footage with real crowds singing our songs back to us in my favorite city in the world,” she uttered. “Marathon is my favorite venue in the city. We sold it out. It was our first time to sell anything out. So of course thank you CMT for giving us a shot. Thank you for voting for it, cheers to keeping the music alive.”

McBryde penned “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” alongside Jeremy Bussey and pulled inspiration from a real-life experience with a naysay. While writing the hit, McBryde recalled a negative comment her math teacher once made about moving to Nashville and pursuing a music career. The hopeful anthem lives on McBryde’s third studio album.

2018: Carly Pearce – “Every Little Thing”

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Before Carly Pearce took the country music industry by storm with her vulnerable record, “29 Written In Stone,” the singer-songwriter placed her name on radars nationwide with her debut single, “Every Little Thing.” When granted the title at the 2018 CMT Music Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, she broke down in tears and delivered a memorable acceptance speech.

“I sat up in the stands with my mom for so many years wondering if I would ever get here,” she said while gazing out into the crowd. “Fans, you have absolutely changed everything for me, so thank you for voting for me. I just have to say one more thing to the guy that broke my heart – thank you!”

The blonde powerhouse wrote the reminiscent melody alongside Emily Shackleton. The haunting ballad moved the needle for Pearce, as it quickly got picked up by SiriusXM “The Highway.” Throughout the emotion-driven music video, fans almost feel the hurt and heartbreak Pearce suffered following the breakup. Since day one, Pearce has used her artistry as a superpower to resonate with fans. Pearce and Ashley McBryde are currently nominated with “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” for Collaborative Video of the Year for the 2022 CMT Music Awards.

2017: Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled”

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“American Idol” alum turned country music star was presented with Breakthrough Video of The Year for “Road Less Traveled” by living legend, Reba McEntire.

“Oh no. I’m not good at this. I don’t know what to do! Reba McEntire just gave me an award, so that’s pretty crazy! Thank you to everybody at CMT, Leslie Fram, the fans…all of these people up here that I’ve watched get awards every year,” she gushed on stage. “You guys have inspired me. I am so nervous–I don’t get nervous. I can always talk! Jesus, I should have said that first. Sorry, God! Everybody, thank you so much,” the country newcomer said in disbelief over her CMT win” she concluded.”

The music video for “Road Less Traveled” shines a light on unrealistic beauty standards in society and encourages listeners to love themselves just the way they are. Alaina co-wrote the self-worth anthem with pop artist Meghan Trainor and pulled inspiration from her own battle with an eating disorder.

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