Country duo Maddie & Tae have been through a lot in the last six months. Shortly after announcing their headlining CMT Next Women of Country Tour, duo member Taylor Kerr was rushed to the hospital and ended up giving birth to her first child, a daughter named Leighton, three months early. Since then she’s been at home caring for the healthy baby girl and the duo’s career is effectively on pause, so when they won the award for Group/Duo Video of the Year at the 2022 CMT Music Awards last night (April 11), it was an emotional moment.
The “belt buckle” trophy was to recognize Maddie & Tae’s fun-loving “Woman You Got” video, but under the circumstances, felt like something much bigger. And when duo member Maddie Font took the stage to accept it, her speech was one of the most genuine things you’ll ever see at an awards show.
“Let me tell y’all something ’bout the Devil — he’s trying to get you when you’re doing right,” she started, surprising fans into a silent shock. “But God loves you. God loooooves you.”
With her partner Taylor cradling baby Leighton on a video screen behind her, Font then turned to look at her longtime friend, and promptly broke down.
“I missed you, I miss you so much,” she said, her voice breaking in sobs of both sorrow and joy. “I can’t do this without you, that’s my girl. And I’ve been drinking because I’m so nervous [laughs].”
It’s taken the duo almost 10 years to reach this award-winning point, counting back to 2014 and their Platinum-certified arrival with the sassy “Girl In a Country Song,” and Font went on to thank the duo’s team before returning to the ordeal her partner has endured.
“Tae, I miss you so bad,” she said again. “Tell that baby girl I love her. I want to thank our fans. But most importantly, the resilience that God has built in us and our team, the clarity he has given us, the strength he gives us. The vision God gives us, and the peace he brings. This is much bigger than a music video award to us… I’m crying, I’ve been drinking wine, God knows me. Thank you Jesus and CMT, I’m so grateful.”
Maddie & Tae released the Through the Madness, Vol. 1 EP in January, and their headlining CMT Tour is still expected to be rescheduled. Check out Sounds Like Nashville’s full 2022 CMT Music Awards coverage here.