Backstreet Boys, Phillip Phillips, Lionel Richie join Blake Shelton, Dolly Parton & Kelsea Ballerini on “CMT Artists of the Year”


What would American Idol winner Phillip Phillips sound like singing Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road”? We’re likely to find out Wednesday night, as the singer/songwriter pays tribute to the smash at the 2017 CMT Artists of the Year event.

Backstreet Boys will also honor their pals and recent tour mates Florida Georgia Line with a special performance at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Though the other Artists of the Year — Chris StapletonJason AldeanKeith Urban and Luke Bryan — will play tonight as well, CMT is shifting the tone of the annual event away from being an awards show, in favor of a night of coming together after the recent shootings in Vegas, and the multiple hurricanes that have ravaged many parts of the U.S.

Stars from outside the world of country, like Andra Day and Common, will collaborate with Lee Ann Womack and Little Big Town on a medley of Day’s hit “Rise Up” and “Stand Up for Something.”

Also look for appearances tonight from Blake SheltonChris YoungDolly PartonKelsea BalleriniVince Gill and Amy GrantBrothers Osborne, and new American Idol judge Lionel Richie.

You can catch the 2017 Artists of the Year special live from Music City tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CMT.

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