Gabby Barrett proved why she's a 2021 CMT Artist of the Year with her performance on Wednesday night (Oct. 13). The rising star delivered a sweet and perfectly reimagined version of her recent No. 1 single "The Good Ones" during the event.

Barrett performed "The Good Ones" with her own "good one" — her husband, Cade Foehner — playing guitar by her side. Spread across the stage with them were three backup singers, as well as a pianist and violin player, all adding lush touches to the performance.

Barrett's performance was just stripped-back and different enough from her studio version of the song to be memorable. Out front onstage in a white pantsuit, the 21-year-old looked confident and in her element.

Barrett received her 2021 CMT Artists of the Year trophy from Christian artist Michael W. Smith, who highlighted Barrett's faith and drive to make her country music dreams happen during his introduction. In a video segment, Barrett, too, got real about how, despite her third-place finish on American Idol Season 16, she had to start from scratch when she got off the show and to Nashville.

In addition to notching two No. 1 singles from her debut album, 2020's Goldmine, Barrett and Foehner welcomed their first child, a daughter named Baylah May, in early 2021. Now that she's back out on the road for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she says experiencing both first-time motherhood and her career success is "a dream on top of a dream."

"I definitely am honored to be around such big names, names I grew up listening to. I mean, I was covering Kelsea Ballerini songs a couple years ago, on my journey to Nashville, so it's pretty cool to be put up with those names. I feel very blessed," Barrett shared on the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year red carpet. She added that she's been writing for her sophomore album, and that fans can "definitely expect a baby song" on the project.

"Motherhood has definitely changed everything in so many different ways — in the best ways," Barrett says, "so I have her in mind when I do anything now."

In addition to Barrett, the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year event included honors for Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton, along with the 2021 CMT Artist of a Lifetime, Randy Travis, and the 2021 CMT Breakout Artist of the Year, Mickey Guyton. The event took place at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

2021 CMT Artists of the Year Red Carpet - Country's Best Looks

It's been a really long time since country music fans witnessed a "normal" red carpet, but the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year ceremony provided just that. The show happened on Wednesday night (Oct. 13) at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Below, find pictures of Jon Pardi, Chris Stapleton, Walker Hayes, Gabby Barrett and their spouses. Plus Kane Brown and more with special guests!

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