George Strait Wins First CMT Award for Performance of the Year

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

George Strait took home his first-ever Country Music Television award Monday night (April 11) for Performance of the Year. His rendition of “Is Anybody Going to San Antone” from the CMT Giants: Charley Pride special won him the award against fellow nominees Chris Stapleton, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, LANY, Mickey Guyton, Gladys Knight, Breland, and Blanco Brown. 

Strait’s award-winning performance was part of a television event to honor country music trailblazer Charley Pride, who passed away in December 2020. Since Covid prevented performances at the time, CMT organized a televised tribute to the legendary artist in the summer of 2021.

Pride’s son and fellow country musicians honored Pride’s memory by performing his songs and sharing memories of his life. Alongside Strait were other country icons like Reba McEntire, Jimmie Allen, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Mickey Guyton, and many more. The CMT Giants: Charley Pride special aired on August 25, 2021.

For the event, Strait performed, “Is Anybody Going to San Antone,” Pride’s classic 1970 hit. Pride was both a friend and musical mentor to Strait, making his performance even more emotionally impactful to viewers.

Strait was unable to accept the award in person but sent a heartfelt acceptance speech via video. “I can’t believe I’ve won,” he said. “I’m sorry I’m not there, but I want to say thank you to all the fans who voted for me, I really appreciate that.”

He added that the tribute performance to his late friend meant just as much to him as it did to the fans who voted for it. “This was really special for me because it was a tribute song to the late Charley Pride, my friend,” Strait said. “I want to say hi to Charley’s family out there.”

Watch Strait’s award-winning performance of “Is Anybody Going to San Antone” below.

Photo by David McClister / Ebie Media

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