Thomas Rhett's wife, Lauren Akins, presented her husband with the CMT Artists of the Year trophy, marking her first time ever presenting an award. The pregnant mother of two used her time on stage to praise her husband for how hard he has worked over the years, even though it means they are often apart.
"When Thomas Rhett started out, I remember sharing a bunk with him on the tour bus, and let me tell you, it is a tight squeeze in that bunk," Akins recalled from stage. "But it might not have been that bad, except there were ten other guys on that bus too. Spending 180 nights on the road, he's away a lot, but even when we weren't there with him, he kept his family in his heart, and in his music.
"Now we're walking red carpets together and coming to nights like this," she continued. "I wouldn't change anything, because my husband gets to do something that very few people can: live his dream, follow his passion, and do the thing that I know God created him to do. The song he's going to play for you right now shows that he knows how much sacrifice we've put into this, and I think it resonates with everybody who supports the one that they love."
Rhett performed his song, "Dream You Never Had," before accepting the trophy.
"Sitting in a seat over there watching the whole night, I was telling Ashley [McBryde] that I cried once during her bit, and Kane's speech," Rhett began. "I don't know if Kane's here anymore, but I just wanna lift up Kane and his family. I don't know if this is really conventional, but can I just pray really fast? Is that okay with everybody?" Rhett said, before offering up a beautiful prayer for Brown.
Rhett and Akins just celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary, with Akins posting a sweet tribute to her husband on social media.
"Happy wedding anniversary," Akins wrote. "7 years ago tonight honey you are better than my best dream and so is our life with our precious babies. I’m so thankful God gave me you. Can’t wait for the next 70 babe ... I love you Thomas Rhett."
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Photo Credit: Getty Images for CMT/Viacom