Why Miranda Lambert Skipped The 2023 CMT Music Awards

All of country music's biggest stars are dazzling on the red carpet of the 2023 CMT Music Awards, being held at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, on April 2. Kelsea Ballerini, Carrie Underwood, and couple Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are among the star-studded crowd. But there's one major presence in country music that's missing from the action: "Mama's Broken Heart" singer Miranda Lambert.

At this year's CMT Music Awards, the songwriter was nominated for Female Video of the Year for her 2022 song, "Actin' Up." The video has garnered over three million views on YouTube as well as over $15,000 in donations for the MuttNation Foundation Fundraiser to benefit animal shelter pets. Lambert's last album, which featured "Actin' Up" on the tracklist, also earned three Grammy nominations, but the CMTs are known for being fan-voted. While her fans may be disappointed by the singer's absence, she has a mighty good excuse.

Miranda Lambert is plenty busy with her Vegas residency

While Miranda Lambert is widely considered to be a huge figure in the country world, she had to miss out on the CMT Music Awards because she's over a thousand miles away in Las Vegas, Nevada, for her residency! The singer debuted her "Velvet Rodeo" residency and joined the iconic lineup on the Las Vegas Strip at Planet Hollywood in September 2022. Her set list includes hit songs and fan favorites, like "Bluebird" and "Only Prettier."

Coincidentally, the CMT Music Awards and a performance date for her residency coincided on April 2, keeping the singer from attending one of country music's biggest award shows. Plus, Lambert recently canceled one of her Vegas residency dates on March 31 due to an unknown illness leaving her on vocal rest. In her apology for the cancellation, she specifically promised that she was "working hard to get better for the shows on Saturday and Sunday," with Sunday also being the CMT Music Awards. The show must go on!

Miranda Lambert was also a no-show at the 2019 CMT Awards

This isn't the first time that Miranda Lambert has decided to skip the CMT Music Awards. In 2019, the country music star was similarly a no-show at the ceremony despite being up for several awards, including female video of the year for her single "Keeper of the Flame" and collaborative video of the Year for her song "Drowns The Whiskey" with Jason Aldean. Interestingly, Lambert was actually in Tennessee at that time. She and her husband, Brendan McLoughlin, were spotted at the Billboard Country Power Players in Nashville on June 5, 2019, a day ahead of the CMT Music Awards. According to Us Weekly, she and McLoughlin graced the ceremony to support her longtime manager, Marion Kraft, one of the honorees that night. 

It wasn't until two years later, in 2021, that Lambert returned to the CMT Music Awards — and she certainly didn't disappoint. Along with her "Marfa Tapes" collaborators Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Lambert sang an acoustic rendition of her hit song "Tequila Does" in a pre-taped "Campfire Sessions" segment of the awards show, per Rolling Stone. That year, she tied with Maren Morris as the most-nominated artist at the CMT Music Awards, including video of the year for her song "Settling Down." She also earned a nom for her song "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home) with Elle King but ultimately did not take home any award. 

Miranda Lambert won CMT Female Video of the Year in 2022

But last year's CMT Music Awards were a huge night for Miranda Lambert. The Texas-born country singer nabbed the trophy for female video of the year with her hit song "If I Was A Cowboy," besting other artists such as Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, and former winner Gabby Barrett. "I'm so damn happy to be here," Lambert told the audience during her acceptance speech. "I'm so happy to be just a part of the women of country music today. We are really starting to kick some a**, and I'm so excited about it!" The "Bluebird" singer credited her video director, Trey Fanjoy, for working with her for the last 20 years of her music career. "Trey, I love you. This one's for you," she said. "We are cowboys, and we are going to continue to be. Cheers, yall!"

Despite missing out on this year's CMT Music Awards, Lambert made an appearance at the 2023 Grammy Awards in February, where she was nominated for best country song and best country Album for her studio record "Palomino." The singer returned to the red carpet after skipping last year's Grammy ceremony due to her overwhelming schedule, according to Us Weekly. At the time, she told ABC News that — despite being absent from the ceremony — she is grateful for all the "Grammy love" she received. "I got to play on the Grammys last year, and I got to take one home, and I was just so thankful," she said. "I'm grateful for what I already have."