Full Lineup Revealed for ‘CMT Artists of the Year’ on October 13: Luke Combs, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown & More

by Jennifer Shea

CMT’s “Artists of the Year” special has a star-studded lineup. You won’t want to miss this country music bash, which airs live from Nashville on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. ET.

The 2021 honorees Luke Combs, Gabby Barrett and Kane Brown are among the headliners at the event. Kelsea Ballerini and the Jonas Brothers will also perform remotely.

As if that weren’t enough, the evening will feature a total of 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 will debut never-before-seen material and award show performance firsts.

CMT Celebration Features Some High-Profile Performances

The country music celebration is bigger than ever, with new boldface names joining its roster and new hit songs performed live for its audience.

“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.’”

The honorees this year are Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs. Meanwhile, the “Breakout Artist of the Year” award goes to Mickey Guyton and the “Artist of a Lifetime” award goes to Randy Travis.

Travis is the only honoree not listed as a performer for the night. But Variety predicts that Travis will be the focus of an as-yet-unannounced tribute segment.

After 2020 Break from Tradition, 2021 Show Is Back to Original Format

This year’s event is reverting to the show’s original format. But it will include plenty of brand-new collaborations and performances, plus surprise guests, performers and presenters.

The executive producers of the 2021 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. Also, the executive in charge of talent is Leslie Fram, and the talent producer is Shanna Strassberg.

After a rough 2020, this year’s performers are likely to light it up for the 2021 show. So be sure to catch it on CMT next Wednesday in all its country glory.