CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR: Kane Brown Talks Babies, His New Album and Playing His Hometown Stadium

2022 “CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR” celebration will premiere 9p/8c Friday, Oct. 14, on CMT.

Kane Brown is making it a triple. When Brown is honored at CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR this week, it will be the third time the network has recognized him during the ceremony.

"It feels amazing," Brown told CMT. "I'm just glad to be here. If I get recognized for anything, I'm excited. Y'all have treated me good."

The evening will also honor Cody Johnson, Luke Combs, Walker Hayes, and Carly Pearce, along with Alan Jackson ("Artist of a Lifetime") and Lainey Wilson ("Breakout Artist of the Year").

Brown has collected a series of career highs in 2022. He released his new album "Different Man," his brand of cereal Kane Crunch, headlined a stadium in Chattanooga near where he grew up, and made history at the MTV Video Music Artist as the first male country artist to perform on the show. But when asked about 2022 highlights, Brown didn't choose any of those things.

"Oh, probably my baby. Does that count (as the biggest thing)?" Brown said. "(Careerwise), the stadium show and the album are tied."

Brown said he chose those two events because it was the first time he got to play a significant venue in his hometown, and "it was so fun." As for the album, it was four years in the making.

"So both of those things, going back home and doing a show, releasing the album that were both added up and finally just got them both done," he said.

Brown enjoys CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR because it's intimate. He said he likes chatting with the other honorees, and since there's only five of them, he gets to spend more time getting to know them.

"It's not so hectic," he said. "And this one is going to be Alan Jackson, so that's sick."

Brown is a "Different Man" today than he was when he released his first album in 2016. In the early days of his career, Brown struggled with confidence before breakthrough hits, including "What Ifs" and "Heaven." But now – with the release of his third album, "Different Man" – Brown has found his footing.

"When I'm on stage, I feel like I put on a show now," Brown told Today's Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country. "When I used to, I would just get up there and say, 'Here's a couple songs that I wrote.' And then even with the music, I know what I want to say now, I know how I want it to sound. And, of course, it's going to keep progressing, but I just feel like just maturity-wise… I don't care what everybody thinks now. I used to always be like, 'I hope he likes me' or 'I hope she likes me,' and now it's just like, 'Whatever.'"

He admits he's not as blasé about it as he sounds – especially on social media. But he's getting better.

"One of the things that I do that I need to stop, I've actually done really well; I've been applauding myself this last couple months … Like social media," he said. "So [if I] have thousands of good comments, I'll see one bad comment, and I'll reply to that person. That's where I need to get out of that headspace, and I've done very good lately."

Brown recently had No. 1 hits with "One Mississippi" and "Like I Love Country Music."

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