On Thursday night (Sept. 28), the Grand Ole Opry House hosted the inaugural, fan-powered People’s Choice Country Awards, hosted by Little Big Town.

The awards ceremony — which aimed to add a fourth major country music awards show to the annual country awards circuit — thrust many of today’s top crop of stars and timeless icons into the spotlight as the show aired live on NBC and Peacock.

Blake Shelton honored Toby Keith with the Country Icon award for his decades of writing and recording scores of hits such as “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and “American Soldier,” as well as for his work supporting children and military veterans.

Meanwhile, Wynonna Judd was honored by the Brothers Osborne with the Country Champion award, for her advocacy for mental health and suicide prevention.

Morgan Wallen, Lainey Wilson and Jelly Roll were among the top honorees. Wallen earned the people’s artist of 2023, as well as the album of 2023 (for One Thing at a Time) and the concert tour of 2023 (for his One Night at a Time World Tour). Wilson won the female artist of 2023 as well as the collaboration song of 2023 (alongside Jelly Roll for their duet “Save Me”) and music video of the year (with HARDY for “wait in the truck”). In addition to the collaboration song of 2023, Jelly Roll was named the male artist of 2023, new artist of 2023, and his “Need a Favor” was named song of 2023. Dan+Shay was named the group/duo of 2023.

The PCCAs also offered unique categories, including social country star of 2023 (which went to Shelton) and the crossover song of 2023 (which went to the P!nk/Chris Stapleton collab “Just Say I’m Sorry”).

But as has become the norm for awards shows these days, it was the performances that gave the People’s Choice Country Awards some of the most impactful moments. Here, we rank the show’s performances, ending with what we considered the most impactful performance of the evening.

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