After an emotional performance of his hit "I Called Mama", which he performed at Nashville's famous Bluebird Cafe, the country music superstar who has won 18 ACM awards, was tasked with introducing the next performance. But before doing so, he paused to honour the women in his life, and advocated for equality for all women.
"As a son, a husband, a proud father of three daughters, and as a human being, I am enlightened and inspired by women every single day. Their strength changes me for the better. Every opportunity in life should be available to women," he said, according to Access Hollywood. "This next song speaks to the questions we face while trying to create the changes that allow our daughters to be whomever they want to be."
He then added, "Their strength changes me for the better."
The "Humble and Kind" hitmaker's comments come as a number of female country music artists including Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Miranda Lambert have spoken out about the gender disparity and sexism in the industry, with female artists receiving just 10 per cent of airtime on country music radio.
McGraw then introduced a powerful performance from Mickey Guyton who sang, "What Are You Gonna Tell Her", accompanied by Keith Urban on the piano, making her the first Black woman to perform at the show.
The 37-year-old told People before taking to the stage, "To get this opportunity to represent for Black women at the ACM Awards and to sing a song about the oppression of women and trying to change that - it really does mean a lot to me to be able to do that at the ACMs."