Country newcomer Gabby Barrett was on top of the world Sunday night (May 23), riding high after scoring a massive three-trophy victory at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards. And as she accepted her honors, even she was shocked.
Speaking from the podium, the “I Hope” hit maker and former American Idol star could barely keep her composure. Telling the crowd “This means so much to me,” the vocal powerhouse added that she was trying try to keep it together “the best I can.” But the tears of joy still fell.
Barrett went into the night as the most-nominated country artist — and most nominated female artist overall, regardless of genre. That was a huge feat of it’s own, but the Pennsylvania native likely didn’t give herself much shot, since she was going up against established stars like Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean. But she did ultimately prevail in three of the six categories she was in, scoring Top Country Song for “I Hope” and Top Collaboration for track’s remix with pop star Charlie Puth, as well as the big one: Top Country Female.
Billboard Music Awards are determined by stats, not insider voting, so those trophies represent some real-world achievements for the rising star. And she knew it. After thanking supporters like her husband (and guitar player) Cade Foehner, their daughter Baylah, her management and even God, she saved most of her praise for the fans themselves.
“You change people’s lives … This has changed my life forever,” said Gabby Barrett, adding “I wasn’t supposed to mess up my makeup. Now I have to play it cool.”
Check out more about the winners of the 2021 Billboard Music Awards here.