Pop superstars Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis will celebrate Little Big Town with a once-in-a-lifetime performance of the band’s controversial hit “Girl Crush” during the CMT Artists of the Year special airing live Wednesday (Dec. 2) at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Additionally, Darius Rucker will be joined by Cassadee Pope and RaeLynn to toast Blake Shelton with a performance of his No. 1 hit “Neon Light” during the celebration at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Pope and RaeLynn are both Team Blake alumni from NBC’s The Voice.
The sixth-annual 90-minute CMT Artists of the Year special will celebrate the top five artists who earned the right to be called CMT’s artists of the year — Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Little Big Town and Shelton.
These 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.
Country legend Kenny Rogers will receive the prestigious Artist of a Lifetime Award, and Chris Stapleton will perform live and receive the first-ever CMT Artists of the Year Breakout Award. The cast of ABC’s Nashville will receive the inaugural International Impact Award.
Previous “CMT Artists of the Year” honorees include 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).