Thomas Rhett returned to his roots with his 2021 CMT Music Awards performance on Wednesday, June 9.
The country superstar performed his current single “Country Again” live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., the performance marked Rhett’s first time back in the arena since 2019, when he finished out his ‘Very Hot Summer’ tour.
“If you’ve known me as an artist for the last five or six years, you’ve known that I’ve gone through a bunch of different transitions, musically, stylistically,” Rhett previously told CMT. “The things that I loved and put so much effort into took a back burner for me in 2019 and I really started to live a little bit more simple. That line is so true, just digging up my boots for the first time in four or five years and putting them on. And now I’m like, ’Well, I don’t really need anything else.’ That was the first song I wrote on Zoom.”
“Country Again” is the title track to his latest album, Country Again: Side A.
Co-hosted by superstars Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown, the 2021 CMT Music Awards aired on Wednesday, June 9 and featured performances from Ballerini with Paul Klein from LANY and Brown with Chris Young.
Additionally, the two-hour event included collaborations from BRELAND and Mickey Guyton, Brothers Osborne and Dierks Bentley, H.E.R. and Chris Stapleton, Ingrid Andress and JP Saxe, Lady A with Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell, Lauren Alaina and Jon Pardi, Mickey Guyton and Gladys Knight, Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall and NEEDTOBREATHE with Carrie Underwood.
Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett also performed while Blanco Brown, Dylan Scott, Hailey Whitters, Lainey Wilson, Niko Moon and Tenille Arts appeared on the Ram Trucks Side Stage.
Presenters included Anthony Mackie, Brett Young, Busy Philipps, Carly Pearce, Dylan Scott, Gladys Knight, Iliza Shlesinger, Little Big Town, Michael Strahan, Mickey Guyton, Restless Road, Tennessee Titans’ Taylor Lewan and Trace Adkins, as well as CMT Hot 20 Countdown hosts Cody Alan, Katie Cook and Ashley ShahAhmadi.