Pink Carpet, Ready to Party: Why the CMTs Aren’t Your Mama’s Awards Show


From the pink carpet to multiple mashups with artists from pop, rock and rap, the consensus is — the CMT Music Awards are not your mama’s awards show.

“This is more laid back, you know. It’s casual. The carpet’s pink, instead of red, so it has sort of a party mentality going into it and I like that,” “Hole in a Bottle” hitmaker Canaan Smith says. “I dressed down. You know, I’m wearing a t-shirt and camo pants. That’s kinda what I would wear on any given day anyhow. So I feel a little bit more relaxed and at home.”

As newcomer Chris Lane worked the interview line, his recent tourmate, Dustin Lynch, showed him just how unpredictable the CMT Awards can be — dropping in and referencing his breakthrough hit all at the same time.

“It feels great. This is certainly my first CMT…” he said, just as Dustin popped in.

“I’m getting my ‘Fix’ on!” Dustin interjected, while capturing the whole exchange on his phone.

The man who calls his fans Pardi Animals also embraced the freewheeling spirit of the CMTs, though maybe not as much as he would’ve liked.

“It’s a little more wild, a little bit more like anything goes,” Jon Pardi said, “and you can wear a t-shirt if you want, you don’t have to wear a jacket. I personally wanted to come in my Elvis suit, but since the album is coming out, I don’t want to throw people off, so maybe next year.”

His album California Sunrise is due June 17.

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