On the heels of topping Billboard’s all-genre and country album charts for the second consecutive week, Chris Stapleton will receive the 2015 CMT Artists of the Year Breakout award and perform live during the sixth annual CMT Artists of the Year special.
Also announced Tuesday (Nov. 17), country legend Kenny Rogers will receive the prestigious Artist of a Lifetime award during definitive year-end party airing live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
The 90-minute CMT Artists of the Year special will feature once-in-a-lifetime performances, unexpected tributes and unforgettable toasts as the biggest stars of music, film and television gather to celebrate the five artists selected by CMT as the top artists of the year: Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt.
The artists collectively dominated the last 12 months, ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping album and singles and selling out arenas across the nation. Additional performers, presenters and special guests will be announced at a later date.
They join an overgrowing prestigious list of past CMT Artists of the Year honorees that includes Jason Aldean (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Kenny Chesney (2011, 2012), Eric Church (2012), Hunter Hayes (2013), Toby Keith (2012), Lady Antebellum (2010, 2011), Miranda Lambert (2012, 2014), Tim McGraw (2013), Brad Paisley (2011), Taylor Swift (2010, 2011), Carrie Underwood (2010, 2012), Keith Urban (2014) and the Zac Brown Band (2010).
Previous CMT Artists of the Year performances have included Adele and Darius Rucker performing Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan’s mashup of “Oh No” and “All Night Long” and Maroon 5 covering Taylor Swift’s “Mine.” The show has featured appearances by Ellen DeGeneres, Matthew McConaughey, Selena Gomez, Billy Bob Thornton, Roger Clemens, Morgan Freeman and more.