While we've been enjoying the newer names at the 2011 CMA Awards and reveling in awards like Best New Artist, there's something comforting about a familiar face. Martina McBride was just that tonight as she offered up a smooth performance of her inspiring single 'I'm Gonna Love You Through It' from the central stage.

The song, which narrates the story of a mother of three battling cancer, had the audience waving their cell phones in a sea of little white lights in the the blackness. Looking classy as ever in a white pantsuit and just the right amount of shimmer, McBride gave a warm and simple performance without antics or added stage effects.

The single -- from her October release, 'Eleven' -- brought an emotional twist to the night, buoying spirits and resonating with the obviously engaged audience. The equally hopeful music video for the song features celebrity cancer survivors Robin Roberts, Sheryl Crow and Hoda Kotb, with cancer activist Katie Couric.

McBride was up for a CMA for Female Vocalist of the Year alongside last year's winner Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Sara Evans.