Eric Church, Garth Brooks, Lady A & More to Present Awards at ‘CMT Artists of the Year’ Celebration on Oct. 13

by Jennifer Shea

Tomorrow, Oct. 13, CMT’s “Artists of the Year” celebration kicks off at 9 p.m. ET live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Some of the biggest stars in country music will be joined by boldface names from the worlds of entertainment, television and social media. Along with Eric Church, Garth Brooks and Lady A, viewers can expect to see Connie Britton, Michael W. Smith, Misty Copeland, Morgan Evans and Nelly presenting.

Moreover, Brooks will present his friend, country icon Randy Travis, with the “Artist of a Lifetime” award. Previous recipients have included country superstars Reba McEntire and Loretta Lynn.

CMT ‘Artists of the Year’ Event Reverts to Its Original Format

After a novel adaptation last year in light of the coronavirus pandemic, when CMT honored Americans on the pandemic front lines, the awards show will turn its focus back to country music. The show is reverting to its original format this year.

The 2021 “CMT Artists of the Year” are Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs. Meanwhile, Mickey Guyton is taking home “Breakout Artist of the Year.” This year’s ceremony will also wow audiences with debut performances and collaborations, plus special guests, performers and presenters.

The executive producers of this year’s show are CMT’s Margaret Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson. The executives in charge of production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino. The executive in charge of talent is Leslie Fram. And the talent producer is Shanna Strassberg.

Show Will Include World Premiere Performances, New Material

The 2021 “CMT Artists of the Year” awards show is chock full of debut performances and new material. The show is set to include four world premiere performances. Mickey Guyton and Yola; Boyz II Men and Kevin Olusola of Pentatonix; Kelsea Ballerini and the Jonas Brothers; and Walker Hayes each will perform brand-new collaborations or awards show firsts.

“Our year-end celebration keeps growing and we’re thrilled to welcome Boyz II Men, Kevin Olusola, Jonas Brothers and Yola to the show in addition to our luminous honorees,” CMT’s Senior Vice President of Music Strategy & Talent Leslie Fram said in a press release. “And in honor of one of the biggest songs of summer that has exploded across social media and beyond, we look forward to having Walker Hayes join our celebration for a can’t-miss performance of his history-making hit ‘Fancy Like.’”

It’s sure to be a big night for country music and for the entertainment industry in general. So be sure to catch it on CMT tomorrow night.