CMT Music Awards 2021 kicks off with Lady A, Chris Stapleton performances

The star-studded event kicked off from Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday evening with a performance by Lady A. The trio was joined onstage by Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell. 

Ell stepped in after Gabby Barrett bowed out, citing “personal circumstances.”

Cameras then took viewers to a farm where Chris Stapleton performed “Arkansas.” 

Following the two performances, hosts Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini took the stage. “After this year … I’m thirsty for a great party,” Brown said. 

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Charles Kelley of musical group Lady A, Carly Pearce, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of musical group Lady A and Lindsay Ell perform onstage at the 2021 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 09, 2021, in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for CMT)

Charles Kelley of musical group Lady A, Carly Pearce, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of musical group Lady A and Lindsay Ell perform onstage at the 2021 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 09, 2021, in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for CMT)

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