The 2021 Concert for Love and Acceptance hosted an incredible night of performers, award recognition and inclusivity yesterday (June 30). The event, held by country music artist and philanthropist Ty Herndon in partnership with CMT, brought together LGBTQ artists and allies for multiple wonderful causes.

The Concert for Love and Acceptance Red Carpet Countdown streamed on Herndon’s Facebook page two hours before the main show. The carpet countdown got viewers ready for the main event with some incredible pre-show performances!

Performers at the Red Carpet Countdown included  Curtis Braly, Jada Cato, Exit 216, Justin Fabus, The Kentucky Gentlemen, Crystal Lewis, Kristen Merlin, Sarah Potenza, Brandon Stansell, Emily West, and Jaime Wyatt.

The main event kicked off at 8 PM ET as a virtual show available for streaming on CMT’s YouTube channel, Facebook page and

Co-hosted by Herndon and CMT’s Cody Alan, the virtual show was not one to be missed. Wearing many hats, Herndon not only produced and co-hosted the event, but shared his musical talents as well! The country music star debuted the first track titled “Lean In” from his upcoming album JACOB.

Take a listen below of this captivating track!

But the music did not stop there! Brothers Osborne made their event debut with a performance of “I’m Not For Everyone.”

According to the Sounds Like Nashville, the duet was meaningful not only to viewers, but to the country music duo, as T.J. Osborne recently came out as gay in early 2021.

“We want to thank Ty Herndon and GLAAD and CMT for hosting this each year and standing up for the LGBTQ families and the youth,” said T.J. before the performance. “What you guys are doing over year and year again is extremely helpful for a lot of people, and myself.”

Photo Credit : Jeremy Ryan

Other performances of the star-studded night included Kristin ChenowethTerri ClarkGavin DeGrawBrooke EdenShelly FairchildHarper GraeJake HootRissi Palmer, Michael RayLily RoseLOCASHTenille TownesWalker CountyChase Wright and more.

Aside from incredible artists taking the stage to perform, some artists were brought into the spotlight for recognition on their advocacy and impact.

Kathy Mattea was honored with the second annual Foundation For Love & Acceptance R.A.L.Y. (Rescue A Life, Y’all) Award. The great honor, presented by Herndon, was awarded to Mattea in recognition of her early advocacy for the LGBTQ community and HIV/AIDS awareness.

Kathy Mattea was standing up for LGBTQ people in country music long before it was cool,” said Herndon. “I’m so proud that we could honor her tonight for her heroism and activism. Her voice made a difference when it really mattered.”

Herndon also recognized a few more familiar faces in country music as his Foundation for Love & Acceptance 2021 Rising Stars. ARLO, Brooke Eden, Jamie Floyd, Chris Housman, and Lily Rose were announced during the impactful broadcast as this year’s honorees.

“With LGBTQ Rising Stars like Brooke Eden, Chris Houseman, Lily Rose, and ARLO on the scene making great music as their authentic selves and allies like Jamie Floyd standing alongside them, I think we can say it’s a new day in Nashville,” said Herndon. 2021 class of honorees join last year’s recipients of the award, Shelly Fairchild, Harper Grae, and Brandon Stansell.

Photo Credit : Jeremy Ryan

Coming together to recognize one another and a greater picture at large, GLAAD, MusiCares, and Nashville’s Oasis Center are beneficiaries of the event proceeds.

Although the event has technically come to an end, the experience does not have a bow on it just yet! For those who did not get to watch the showcase last night, the stream is still available for the next 72 hours on all three platforms.

What was your favorite moment from the 2021 Concert for Love and Acceptance? Let us know by sending us a tweet @CS_Country


  • Kelly Gilmore

    Kelly is a senior broadcast journalism student at the University of Central Florida! She has an unquenchable passion for all things pop culture and entertainment news. When she isn't writing articles, hosting interviews or working on entertainment news, Kelly can be found binge-watching her favorite shows.