‘CMT Artists of the Year’ Plans for a Night of Hope and Healing

With everything going on in the world recently, CMT has decided to program the 2017 CMT Artists of the Year around giving back to others and providing a sense of light and hope by way of country music.

CMT Artists of the Year previously announced plans to honor Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan and Chris Stapleton during this year’s ceremony. Each of the artists wanted to send out love to all who are looking for a helping hand, so CMT is providing a platform for them to do so.

As always, the event will surprise fans and viewers with imaginative collaborations between a variety of artists in country music and beyond. This year, CMT snagged Little Big Town to team up with Andra Day on an opening performance of the soulful singer’s anthem, “Rise Up.” Quickly following, Day and Little Big Town will join together with Lee Ann Womack and rapper Common for Day’s latest inspirational song, “Stand Up For Something.”

“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. “Both ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Stand Up for Something’ are inspirational anthems that perfectly sum the message for the evening. 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.”

Switching things up a bit even further, the honored artists will preach messages of love and support to their fans rather than the typical formalities of speeches and compilation videos about each musician. Wanting to devote more time to light a spark into the hearts who’ve lost a lot recently, country music plans to lend that shoulder of support throughout the CMT Artists of the Year broadcast.

The 2017 CMT Artists of the Year special will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, October 18, at 8 p.m. ET on CMT.