The honky-tonks were closed for months. The tour buses are still parked. And the concert halls remain empty. But country music did not go silent.
For CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special, country music's biggest names and our favorite stars from Hollywood united to honor important Americans who are keeping us safe and keeping us going. We cannot thank them enough.
They are health care workers, innovators, educators, food providers, delivery drivers, sanitation and utility workers, our armed forces, and first responders. All of these men and women are putting their lives at risk for the rest of us.
Notable performances in CMT Celebrates Our Heroes included Brothers Osborne's "Make It a Good One," Brandi Carlile's "Most of All," Luke Combs' "Six Feet Away," Florida Georgia Line's "U.S. Stronger," Lady Antebellum's "Champagne Night," and Miranda Lambert's "Bluebird." Little Big Town also offered their song titled "Bluebird," joining Tim McGraw's "I Called Mama," Thomas Rhett's "Be a Light" in the show.
Classic cover songs ranged from Kelsea Ballerini's "You've Got a Friend" and Kane Brown's "Stand by Me," to Sam Hunt's "Jack of All Trades" and Darius Rucker's "Forever and Ever, Amen."
A number of country artists praised frontline workers and everyday heroes such as teachers and grocery store workers, with testimonials coming from Jason Aldean, Lee Brice, Zac Brown, Lauren Daigle, Reba McEntire, Jake Owen, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban.
Country radio personalities Cody Alan and Bobby Bones also appeared, as did actors Kristin Bell, Scarlet Johannson, Olivia Munn, Sean Penn, and Gary Sinise.