Newly-minted ACM winner Hailey Whitters just couldn't stop smiling when she took the stage to perform her Top 25 single, "Everything She Ain't," on the 2023 ACM Awards broadcast on Thursday night (May 11).

Dressed in a gauzy, short pink dress with long mesh sleeves and frilly trim, Whitters twanged and swayed her way through her signature radio hit, proving that the New Female Artist trophy she received ahead of the awards show is no fluke. "Everything She Ain't" has charm and personality to spare, and the bubbly enthusiasm of the lyrics was only amplified by the broad smile the singer was sporting throughout her time onstage.

To call Whitters a "new artist" isn't entirely accurate — like so many performers basking in their breakthrough success, she's actually been working hard to hone her craft for years already.

Before the awards show, she reflected to Taste of Country on the long climb to her first major awards show trophy.

"It was a total surprise and I've been in town for, like, 15 years, so I've dreamt so long long about getting to do this one day," she explained. "And also just hitting that mark where I was like, 'I don't know if it's ever gonna happen for me.' So to get to have that moment ... feels very special."

With all that hard work behind her, Whitters knows exactly how massive this moment is — and she soaked up every second of her time onstage during the awards show.

The 2023 ACM Awards took place at Frisco, Texas' Ford Center on Thursday night. Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks co-hosted the show.

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