CMT Artists of the Year special to drop awards, turn show into “a night of hope and healing”


CMT’s annual Artists of the Year special will dispense with the trophies this year, in favor of a show designed to unite the music community and the country following the Las Vegas shooting, the California wildfires, and the recent devastating hurricanes.

The special will open with R&B singer Andra Day and Little Big Town performing Andra’s song “Rise Up,” followed by Andra, LBT and Lee Ann Womack performing “Stand Up for Something,” Day’s new collaboration with Oscar-winning rapper and actor Common.

In a statement, Frank Tanki, General Manager of CMT and TV Land, said, “Given the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, the raging California wildfires and the mass shootings in Las Vegas, we feel a commitment to our fans to address all of the tragedies not in one somber and solemn moment or segment, but rather devote the entire evening to uplifting the fans through high-spirited music.”

More artists of all genres will be announced soon, and special musical collaborations will be on tap during the evening.  The entertainment community will also “share messages of hope and healing,” according to CMT.

Honorees Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan will also be featured on the special, which will air live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center Wednesday, October 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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