Top Country Stars Celebrate Drag Queens at CMT Music Awards

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After opening the CMT music awards with a tribute to the six victims who died in The Covenant School shooting in Nashville, Tennessee last week, country star Kelsea Ballerini danced on stage with drag queens. Ballerini thanked the “iconic” drag queens for “celebrating love, self-expression, and performance,” and reminded them “if you go down, I’m going down too.” 

According to Breitbart, Ballerini, who witnessed a school shooting in her hometown high school in 2008 in Knoxville, shared that she hopes “real action” will protect children and families. Two hours into the show, Ballerini danced alongside Kennedy Davenport, Jan Sport, Manila Luzon and Olivia Lux, who are all stars of the show “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” singing “If You Go Down (I’m Going Down Too).” 


Country music legend and five-time Grammy winner Shania Twain received the Equal Play Award for “being a ‘visible and vocal advocate’ for diverse voices in country music.” Twain sang her hit “Man, I Feel Like a Woman,” alongside Texas native and Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion. Twain said that the hit song “became an undercurrent to a decades-long career of advocacy.”

“I promise I will continue to champion the many outstanding country artists that are not currently played, they are not currently streamed, toured, signed or awarded at the level they deserve,” said Twain, adding, “I believe in an all-inclusive country music.”


Other performances included Gwen Stefani’s 1990’s hit “Just a Girl,” and Wynonna and Ashley Judd performing a cover of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” 

The celebration of drag queens at the CMT awards comes while states across the country consider making drag show performances in front of children illegal. Tennessee was the first state to restrict drag show performances. The law was supposed to go into effect this month. but it has been temporarily blocked after a lawsuit was filed against it earlier in the week. 

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