Shania Twain reflected on her path to stardom and her mission to help support equality within the country genre during the 2023 CMT Music Awards on April 2.

The country star accepted the Equal Play Award from rapper Megan Thee Stallion, who noted Twain as a personal inspiration before welcoming her to the stage.

"When I wrote the phrase 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman,' I honestly had no idea at the time that it would become the undercurrent of a decades long career," Twain explained. "It's amazing how just one statement can empower so many. 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman' has been adopted by an array of fantastic communities all around the world, and become a genuine path of power and progress for women in country music, which brings me so much joy."

After giving thanks to CMT, who presented her with the first award of her career as a rising artist back in 1993, she reiterated the importance of cultivating a welcoming environment within the world of country music.

"I promise I will continue to champion the many outstanding country artists who are not currently played, streamed, toured or awarded on the level they deserve," she declared. "I believe in an all-inclusive country music. We're a family."

"This is a genre of music with a rich history that raised and nurtured my own songwriting and performance a recording career from childhood," Twain continued. "Currently the industry standard does a real disservice to this. Let us, the country music industry, do our part to close the gap and provide an equal workspace for all talent."

Twain is set to take the stage for a special performance later in the evening, giving fans a teaser of what's to come from her highly anticipated Queen of Me Tour, which kicks off later this month.

The 2023 CMT Music Awards aired on Sunday (April 2) live from Austin, Texas on CBS. It streamed live and on demand on Paramount+. Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown co-hosted the show.

2023 CMT Music Awards Red Carpet

The best dressed at the 2023 CMT Music Awards took a slight risk on an established personal style. Country singers and their significant others walked the red carpet prior to the Sunday (April 2) show in Austin, Texas. See pictures of the hottest country fashions as worn by the biggest hitmakers, most-talked-about newcomers and more.

Who gets your vote for best and worst dressed at the 2023 CMT Music Awards?

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