Best Vocal Finesse: Lauren Alaina
Still glowing from the CMT Music Awards the night before, where she won Collaborative Video of the Year with Kane Brown for "What Ifs," Lauren Alaina took the Riverfront Stage with triumphant poise. Glitzed up in a colorful sequined jumper, she told stories behind each original song in her short but satisfying set, which also included a medley of modern covers like Shawn Mendes' "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" and throwback favorites like the Backstreets Boys' "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." Although she claimed she "peaked" the night before when she posted an impromptu red-carpet duet with the BSBs themselves on Instagram, the "Road Less Traveled" singer's soulful vocal performance across multiple genres indicated that Alaina – as her song says – is doin' fine. L.L.