Minnesota’s Caitlyn Smith shines at the CMT Music Awards – WCCO
CANNON FALLS, MN (WCCO) — She went from a small town to a big time.
Cannon Falls native Caitlyn Smith has definitely arrived on the country music scene. She performed at the CMT Music Awards on Monday night, and her hometown was abuzz about it.
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The vocals and narration are the reason many have Smith’s music on repeat.
His brother, Caleb Smith, spoke to WCCO by phone from his job site in Red Wing.
“We have music videos of her at home. You know, if the camera went out and dad was filming a birthday, Caitlyn had to come up and sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ or whatever she could, so she was always a performer,” Caleb said.
He says seeing his big sister on the big stage is the icing on the cake.
“All I cared about was that she was doing what she loved to do,” he said.
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For 21 years, Ron Johnson was the announcer for the Minnesota Timberwolves. But he says his claim to fame is to give Caitlyn a microphone and introduce her to thousands of people. He met her at the town ballpark when she was 12.
“And she comes in, she says, ‘Do you want me to sing the national anthem?’ I’m like, ‘Have you ever done this before?’ And she’s like, ‘Well, yeah.’ And I’m like, ‘OK, what’s your name?’ “Caitlyn Smith.” So I introduced her, handed her the mic, and she blew everyone away with that national anthem,” Johnson said.
Caitlyn’s love of music brought her to Nashville, where she was told she wasn’t country enough.
“I moved back to Minnesota during the pandemic to be closer to my family, and Zoom wrote a lot, did a lot of my own demos,” Caitlyn said.
From singing in her church choir to performing at the Turf Club, First Avenue, and now on the big stage at the CMT Music Awards. Every TV in Cannon Falls was tuned in to see her hometown girl doing well.
“Not everyone can say they’ve, you know, watched TV and said, ‘Hey, I was on a basketball team with her in seventh grade,’ or ‘We ran together at the high school,'” Caleb said. “It’s just kind of fun.”
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Caitlyn was nominated for Breakthrough Video of the Year on Monday Night for her duet with Old Dominion titled “I Can’t.” Parker McCollum’s “To Be Loved By You” ended up taking top honors.