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Thomas Rhett was named an early winner for the 52nd Annual CMA Awards when he took home the coveted trophy for Music Video of the Year for “Marry Me.”
Thomas Rhett’s early win was the beginning of a big day for the singer who is also nominated in two other categories: Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year (Life Changes). Rhett took the stage during Wednesday night’s live award show to perform the title track from his nominated album, Life Changes. He began his performance in front of a stage prop that resembled a teen boy’s bedroom, complete with some of his famous dad’s (Rhett Akins) albums on the wall.
As he made his way toward the crowd, Thomas wove through aisles lined with a high school marching band from Ravenwood High School. The band’s director told The Tennessean that he received a call from Tiffany Kerns, executive director of the Country Music Association Foundation, just four days before the 52nd Annual CMA Awards. Kerns asked director Chris Janowiak if his band from the high school located in Brentwood, Tennessee, could learn the song to play with Thomas Rhett during the live award show.
“We had to scramble to put this thing together really quick,” Janowiak said. “It’s been a whirlwind. I said, ‘Go home and learn this.’ We met before school started on Monday to piece everything together, and the kids were champs. They took that music, did their due diligence and learned all those parts. It just speaks to their level of commitment for their program.”
The band’s hard work paid off as their presence made Thomas Rhett’s a performance to remember!
A sweet moment came when Rhett found his wife mid-song and began to sing to her, “Well, I was wrapping my head around being a dad…” Lauren, his wife of six years, grabbed him and planted a big kiss on his cheek. The gesture caused Thomas to laugh and skip a few lyrics.
“Life Changes” became Thomas Rhett’s 11th No. 1 single, and in a recent interview the singer revealed that the song was never meant to be recorded.
“We just started writing verses as a little storyline of college to getting married to now,” Thomas Rhett recalled of his writing session with Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley and his dad Rhett Akins. “When we wrote it, we were like, ‘This is never gonna make the album, ever. I’m just glad we got it out of our system.’”
Watch Thomas Rhett’s live performance of “Life Changes” in the video below.