Lainey Wilson opens inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards with major win for Female Artist of 2023… as Toby Keith and Wynonna Judd win honorary awards
The biggest stars in country music were out on Thursday night for the first-ever People’s Choice Country Awards.
The ceremony, which was hosted by the popular quartet Little Big Town, opened up with one of its biggest awards for Female Artist of 2023, with the renamed trio Lady A (former Lady Antebellum) presenting the award.
Lainey Wilson, who has had a stratospheric rise in the genre, was announced as the first winner of the evening.
The show also featured previously announced honorary awards for Country Icon to Toby Keith and Country Champion for music legend Wynonna Judd.
Lainey was clearly emotional as she accepted her award, and she admitted she had ‘very big shoes to fill’ as she joined the ranks of top country stars.
Winner! Lainey Wilson won the first award of the night for Female Artist of 2023 at the first-ever People’s Choice Country Awards on Thursday
Country stars: The show kicked off with a performance from Little Big Town, who was also hosting the ceremony
‘I feel overwhelmed,’ Lainey said as she held her award. ‘I feel honored and humbled.’
The price was similar to the usual People’s Choice Awards trophy, though in silver instead of gold.
It included a long, shiny cylinder with a thick circle interrupting it two thirds of the way down.