The eighth annual CMT Artists of the Year special was held last night and aired live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Country music hit-makers Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton, and Keith Urban, were all recognized as 2017 CMT Artists of the Year during the 90-minute star-studded program. The five “Artists of the Year” collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping albums and singles, and selling out arenas across the country.
This year, the ceremony skipped formal award presentations and acceptance speeches to focus on hope and healing following the devastating hurricanes and the deadly mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
“Given the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria 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,” shared Frank Tanki, General Manager of CMT and TV Land, ahead of the program. “The special has always been a place where artists from different genres can stand side-by-side, and now more than ever, we want to showcase the power of unity and resilience through music.”
Enjoy the night’s biggest highlights below!
Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton, and Keith Urban each paid homage to country music fans’ unwavering dedication to the genre and spoke about the healing power of music following the natural disasters and the violence at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, which have rocked this country.
“We’ve been tested beyond our worst nightmares the past few months,” Aldean expressed. “Heartbroken doesn’t even begin to explain how some of us feel. But we have time and again in this country that we have the power to overcome anything that threatens our way of life or our freedom. We dedicate this night to you and to everyone who has experienced loss or tragedy in the past few months … We will get through this together.”
Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, and Chris Stapleton perform Tom Petty and The Heartbreaker’s “I Won’t Back Down.”
Common and Andra Day perform “Stand Up for Something” with Danielle Bradbery, Lee Ann Womack and Little Big Town.
Chris Stapleton Performs “Broken Halos.”
View the complete highlights reel below!
What an amazing night of unity, hope, and healing though music. Share these highlights with other country music fans!