Girls crush it: Women of country rule the CMAs with powerful, statement-making performances

Girls crush it: Women of country rule the CMAs with powerful, statement-making performances

As McEntire put it, “This year, we’re putting the spotlight on our legends, the great ladies of today, and the up-and-comers changing the game. And we’re doing it for all the little girls watching tonight, dreaming of ruling the world of country music — or maybe just ruling the world.”

Later in the evening, the new guard of female country trailblazers stole the show with a powerful medley, starting with Kelsea Ballerini’s raw, haunting, acoustic “Homecoming Queen” (a tear-jerking, modern-day lament about the evils of social media), which segued seamlessly , with the help of Lindsay Ell, into a lovely all-star performance of Little Big Town’s 2015 Song and Single of the Year CMA-winner, “Girl Crush,” that included Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, Maddie & Tae, and Runaway June.

Later, when Musgraves picked up her first win for Female Vocalist of the Year, she said in her speech, “I just want to say the female creative spirit, female energy, it’s really needed right now. It’s really important. And I feel like it’s something that Earth needs. And so whether it’s me that’s up here or any of the other women in this category, it’s a beautiful thing.”

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