Viral TikTok star Demps was on-hand in Austin, Texas, on Sunday (April 2), evening to chat with some of country music’s biggest stars ahead of the 2023 CMT Music Awards.
The Music Mayhem guest host, who has over 1.7 million followers on TikTok, caught up with names like Jelly Roll and his wife Bunnie XO, Russell Dickerson, Mackenzie Porter, Chase Matthew, Nate Smith, Priscilla Block and more.
Jelly Roll And Bunnie XO
Jelly Roll, who was the night’s most-awarded artist, earned three trophies for Male Video of the Year, Male Breakthrough Video of the Year, and Digital-First Performance of the Year for his song “Son of a Sinner.” He walked the aqua-colored carpet with Bunnie XO. Before the top of the star-studded program, he nabbed the Digital-First Performance of the Year award.
“It’s here in case nobody believes me,” Jelly Roll, who sported a black letterman jacket with a patch promoting his upcoming album, WHITSITT CHAPEL, said while holding up a sign that had the word “winner” spread across the front. “I feel like I could pass out with this in my hand.”
For the show, Jelly Roll performed his current single, “Need A Favor,” from his upcoming WHITSITT CHAPEL album. It was a moment that Chase Matthew said he was looking forward to the most.
“I’m probably most excited to see Jelly perform,” Matthew told Demps.
Lily Rose, meanwhile, walked her first red (aqua) carpet as a spouse. She recently tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Daria Eamon. The two had spent the past five days in Austin – a place that holds plenty of memories for Rose, who recalls gigs she played before becoming a known artist.
Reflecting on her earlier years, Rose, who performed Ram Trucks Side Stage, said, “My first time I ever played here was in 2015 for SXSW. I played for pretty much nobody in a bar. We’ve gone to that bar every night and just tore it up the last three days.”
And, when it comes to apparel, it’s impossible not to talk about what was worn on the carpet. Music Mayhem’s own guest host, Demps, stunned in a Lucinda gold-sequin jumpsuit on loan from the Showroom Nashville.
Dubbed Chapel Hart And Russell Dickerson “Best Dressed”
While everybody dressed their best at the CMT Music Awards, two artists were dubbed “best dressed” by Music Mayhem’s host of the night. They were Chapel Hart and Russell Dickerson.
Chapel Hart, made up of sisters Danica Hart and Devynn Hart, and their cousin Trea Swindle, performed “You Can Have Him Jolene” on the Ram Trucks Side Stage. On the carpet, they matched in all-yellow ensembles
“I just have to tell you guys, yellow is my favorite color,” Demps told the trio. “You guys, listen. Don’t tell anybody this, but you guys are the best dressed.”
Russell Dickerson also scored the best male outfit with a throwback plaid get-up.
“I feel like I’ve seen a lot of ‘70s looks coming back on the red carpet tonight. I’m not hating it. I’m not hating it,” Demps acknowledged.
Nate Smith, who was nominated for Breakthrough Male Video of the Year for his No. 1 single “Whiskey on You” and performed the tune on the Ram Trucks Side Stage, also caught up with Music Mayhem, saying, “I’m just happy to be here. I really am.”
Demps shares ties with Smith. She was the lead role in his music video for “Whiskey On You.”
“I’m lucky to be able to experience this and be here, and see you grow, and see everything happen,” Smith said, with Demps replying, “Are you kidding me? I’m excited to see you grow. I had the amazing opportunity, you asking me to be in that music video, and it just took off.”
MacKenzie Porter, who was nominated for Breakthrough Female Video of the Year for her song “Pickup” said she was excited to be recognized. But not only that, she was stoked to be sitting near her hero Shania Twain.
“I want to meet her,” Porter said of the fellow Canadian-born star. “Honestly, I’m going to be a fumbling mess when I meet her.”
Priscilla Block also shared her excitement for Twain, saying, “I’m excited. I can’t wait to see Shania Twain.”
Block will be joining Twain on the road as part of the legendary singer’s global 49-date Queen of Me Tour, which begins on Friday, April 28, at Spokane Arena in Spokane, WA, and makes stops across North America and Europe in Vancouver, Denver, Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, London, Dublin and more before wrapping up on September 26, at Utilita Arena in Birmingham, UK. Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Hailey Whitters, Breland, Robyn Ottolini, and Mickey Guyton will also be joining Twain on select dates throughout the tour.
Bevo, a Texas Longhorn steer, who is the mascot of the athletic programs at the University of Texas at Austin, stopped by on the carpet ahead of the show. Tiera Kennedy (a first-time nominee), Abby Cone, Taylor Holder, Hannah Ellis, Texas native Jenna Paulette, Drake Milligan, Julie Williams, Marynn Taylor, and more paid a visit before the broadcast.
Watch Demps’ Interview With Priscilla Block, Jelly Roll, Chase Matthew & More Below
Video by: 613 Media
2023 CMT Music Awards
This is the first time the CMT Music Awards were held in Texas. Co-hosted by Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini, the 2023 CMT Music Awards featured performances from Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, Cody Johnson, Jelly Roll, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Lainey Wilson, and Tyler Hubbard.
Additionally, the show included one-of-a-kind collaborations, including a 10th anniversary of CMT Next Women of Country celebration featuring Alanis Morissette with Lainey Wilson, Ingrid Andress, Madeline Edwards, and Morgan Wade. Gwen Stefani and Carly Pearce joined forces for a special collaboration, while Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown teamed up for the television premiere of their chart-topping duet, “Thank God.”
The Black Crowes and Darius Rucker delivered a first-time collaboration of “She Talks To Angels,” and Wynonna Judd and Ashley McBryde also took the stage together.
The show also included a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan from Gary Clark, Jr. and a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute from Billy Gibbons, Chuck Leavell, Cody Johnson, Paul Rodgers, Slash & Warren Haynes, and LeAnn Rimes & Wynonna Judd as honorary “Honkettes.”
Furthermore, rising stars Avery Anna, Chapel Hart, Jackson Dean, Lily Rose, Nate Smith, and Megan Moroney made their CMT Music Awards performance debut on the Ram Trucks Side Stage.
Aired Live From Moody Center In Austin, Texas
Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, Charles Esten, Dixie D’Amelio, Dustin Lynch, HARDY, Ian Bohen + Jen Landon (Yellowstone), Jon Pardi, LeAnn Rimes, Madison Bailey (Outer Banks), Max Thieriot (Fire Country), Megan Thee Stallion, Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things), Parker McCollum, Peter Frampton, Shania Twain, Steve Howey (True Lies) and Travis Kelce appeared as presenters.
The coveted awards show aired live from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, April 2, at 8/7c, on CBS. It was also available to stream live and on-demand via Paramount+.