Carrie Underwood was part of a very special lineup at the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year celebration on Wednesday night (Oct. 17), and she turned to social media to lavish praise on the other artists involved in the event.

The 2018 CMT Artists of the Year special honored the women of country music, placing Underwood alongside Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman from Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum singer Hillary Scott. Underwood turned to Instagram afterward to share photos of herself not only with the other honorees, but also with the members of Runaway June and Maddie & Tae, who will hit the road with her in 2019 on her Cry Pretty Tour 360. Her future tourmates joined her onstage during the broadcast for a medley of classic country songs that paid tribute to Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, the Judds, Reba McEntire and more.

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"What an incredible night full of amazing, strong, talented, gorgeous, smart, sweet women!" Underwood writes to accompany the pictures. "I am honored to be in your company and am in awe of each and every one of you! Thank you @cmt for recognizing women in Country Music!"

One of the highlights of the evening was an impassioned moment from Lambert, who delivered a rousing speech about girl power in country music.

"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 said. "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."

CMT's Leslie Fram acknowledged prior to the program that the evening was meant to provide a boost in exposure for women in country music. In recent years, the inequity between the radio and marketplace exposure between male artists and their female counterparts has become more and more of a glaring issue in the industry.

“Artists of the Year has been traditionally about the biggest artists of the year, through sales and touring and streaming, but unfortunately the format has created a situation where there isn’t an equal playing field," Fram tells Variety. "So the timing is perfect for us to honor all women.”

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