The 2017 CMT Artists of the Year has been transformed into a night of hope and healing following the devastating hurricanes and the deadly mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas.
Forgoing formal award presentations and acceptance speeches, the night’s honorees Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban will deliver heartfelt messages directly to their fans as a tribute to their unprecedented love and support throughout their respective careers.
The 90-minute special will unite artists from all genres and feature a mix of never-before-seen collaborations and performances from the honorees.
Grammy-nominated artist Andra Day and the Grammy-winning band Little Big Town will set the tone for the evening with a performance of Day’s anthemic hit “Rise Up.” They will then be joined by Grammy winners Lee Ann Womack and Common for Day’s new collaboration, “Stand Up for Something.”
CMT has also assembled the entertainment community to share messages of hope and healing. Additional performers will be announced at a later date.
“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,” said Frank Tanki, General Manager of CMT and TV Land. “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.”
The eighth-annual special will air live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. ET.