Before they hit the stage Wednesday night, the women being honored at the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year ceremony took a moment for a group photo to commemorate the occasion: it’s the first time the show has offered an all-female slate of honorees.
Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, and Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town posed inside the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.
Multiple collaborations between the honorees and other female artists are expected during the show including the women of Little Big Town with R&B veteran Gladys Knight and Ballerini with Alison Krauss. There’s also a planned musical salute to Artist of a Lifetime winner Loretta Lynn from Sheryl Crow, Dierks Bentley, and Martina McBride.
On Tuesday, the women shared their musical inspirations with EW and today they offered up a few female artists to watch out for in the future. Perhaps one of them will be honored as a CMT Artist of the Year someday?
The 2018 CMT Artists of the Year airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT.