Female artists in country music have long been struggling for a place in the industry that stands alongside their male counterparts. CMT this year chose to recognize this upward climb with its 2018 Artists of the Year television special, which for the first time recognized solely women in country.

The event, held in Nashville Oct. 17, celebrated the talents of such artists as Miranda LambertCarrie UnderwoodMaren MorrisKelsea Ballerini, Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town and Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum.

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When Lambert took the stage to accept her award, she had proud and inclusive words for all her fellow female artists. "I was so excited and proud when I saw this whole show was dedicated to these amazing women who have all inspired me," she noted. "I'm thrilled to celebrate how hard we work tonight, and how much we are a community as women and lift each other up and respect each other.

"Not a day will go by that I don't lift up and honor other women in this industry, and want to work with them and collaborate," she continued. "And I hope they do the same. Because we have to be there for each other, and I feel that we are. It's a small community and we're all friends. So I appreciate CMT celebrating that tonight."

Lambert wasn't just paying lip service to the event's theme, as she performed with her all-female trio the Pistol Annies that evening. Joined by Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe, she let loose with a performance of the new tune "Sugar Daddy" from the group's upcoming album Interstate Gospel.

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