Editor’s note: Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Thomas RhettChris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood are the honorees at the 2016 CMT Artists of the Year special premiering Thursday (Oct. 20) at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
They’d had a stellar year prior to August’s release of Dig Your Roots, but Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley say their latest album is a career milestone.
“That’s something we’ve been working on for quite a while, definitely over a year, but just to have it out now just feels great,” Hubbard told CMT Hot 20 Countdown‘s Katie Cook. “And to be on the Dig Your Roots Tour, our second headline tour has been amazing. The crowds have been amazing. …
“It’s been an amazing year for us. We went on some amazing trips with our wives. We’ve grown a lot in our marriages and in our personal life, as well.”
“We put everything we had into this album, like our other albums, and it took a while to get out,” Kelley added. “We put a lot of love into this thing. To know that our fans are really connecting with it, it’s amazing. It’s the best feeling in the world. … We’re already hearing really cool stories about how these songs are touching people’s lives and changing their attitudes and their thinking and their daily routines even.”
This is the fourth year Florida Georgia Line has been honored at the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony.
“That’s crazy!” Kelley said. “That’s absolutely insane. We are completely humbled to be back. It is such an intimate night, an intimate award. You know there are so many artists doing what we do and giving it their all, all throughout the year, and putting out amazing music. So to be in this little group is super special. And it’s always a special night sitting at the little dinner table, seeing everybody that we know, being in Nashville.”