CMT’s Artists of the Year awards show will be back this fall in its usual form after hitting pause in 2020 to recognize pandemic frontline workers in healthcare, military, and education with the “CMT Honors Our Heroes” special. The 2021 CMT Artists of the Year ceremonies, set to air live from Nashville, recognize the successes over the last 365 days of Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, and Luke Combs.
A release notes that the five featured artists led CMT’s platforms in the previous 12 months and released chart-topping singles and albums while navigating a music business that suddenly didn’t involve touring.
Stapleton issued his third album Starting Over late in 2020, a project that helped him earn multiple CMA nods this year. Barrett scored her second Number One with “The Good Ones,” while Ballerini put out two distinct versions of her third album. Brown continued his run of huge collaborations by releasing singles with Chris Young and Blackbear, and Luke Combs added to his unbroken string of Number One hits with “Better Together” and “Forever After All,” among others.
Slated for Wednesday, October 13th, the 90-minute program takes place at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center and airs live on CMT. Musical guests and presenters are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.