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Chewbacca Mom won the CMTs before the first award was even given

If we’re really being honest, the 2016 CMT Music Awards were a bit of a hot mess. From outright sexism to awkward innuendo to comically puzzling performances, it just kind of missed the mark. But in at least one respect, the show hit it out of the park. And by that, we’re clearly talking about the cameo from the viral internet sensation known as Chewbacca Mom.

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Of course, unless you’ve been living under a rock and/or don’t have access to the internet, by now you know that Chewbacca Mom’s real name is Candace Payne.

The mother slash super Star Wars fan shot to stardom when she posted a video online of herself laughing hysterically while trying on a Chewbacca mask she picked up from Kohl’s. Sure, the Wookiee sounds the mask made were fun, but nothing could top her infectious giggling as she marveled over her new toy.

To date, her original video has been shared nearly three-and-a-half million times, and for good reason — it’s hilarious. And heartwarming. It’s impossible not to feel all the warm and fuzzies when you’re watching it.

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So, yes, Chewbacca Mom was a welcome distraction when she popped up early in the CMT Music Awards. As hosts J.J. Watt and Erin Andrews talked about Watt placing a teammate and his family in the crowd to laugh at all his jokes, the familiar sounds of Chewbacca Mom’s unmistakable laughter rang out.

Country music’s top artists may have taken home the actual trophies tonight, but if you ask us, Chewbacca Mom won the whole damn show.

As always, Payne’s carefree spirit was captivating. Plus, it was nice to see the sweet 37-year-old stay-at-home mom enjoying one of country music’s hottest nights. She’s gotten quite a bit of swag since her Chewbacca vid first broke the internet and it’s refreshing to see someone so down to earth get a taste of the proverbial high life.

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In fact, while we’re on the subject, would it be totally off-base to suggest they let her host the show next year? I can almost guarantee she would slay it. Or, at the very least, do just as good of a job as Erin Andrews and J.J. Watt did this year. If she happened to break out the Chewbacca mask from time to time and give into those Wookiee giggles during her hosting duties, well by god, so be it.

Check out our slideshow before you go:

CMT awards red carpet
Image: Getty

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