An all-star list of performers from country and beyond have been revealed for the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year special.
Revealed today (October 8), this year’s lineup features unexpected collaborations and world-premiere performances, plus a handful of must-see-TV moments from the night’s honorees.
Breaking the lineup down, CMT has announced that 2021 Artist of the Year honorees Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown and Luke Combs will all take the stage for solo performances. Meanwhile, Mickey Guyton will be joined by Grammy nominated roots artist Yola for a first-ever pairing. R&B icons Boyz II Men and Kevin Olusola of the all-vocal group Pentatonix will do the same in honor of country’s own vocal titan, Chris Stapleton. Kelsea Ballerini will welcome tourmates Jonas Brothers for a remote performance from the stage of The Remember This Tour. And for the first time on an awards show, Walker Hayes will perform his 2021 breakout, “Fancy Like.”
It’s all meant to put a fresh spin on the traditional awards-show approach, with each performer helping highlight one of the year’s most successful country stars.
“Our year-end celebration keeps growing and we’re thrilled to welcome Boyz II Men, Kevin Olusola, Jonas Brothers and Yola to the show in addition to our luminous honorees,” said Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President, Music Strategy & Talent, CMT. “And in honor of one of the biggest songs of summer that has exploded across social media and beyond, we look forward to having Walker Hayes join our celebration for a can’t-miss performance of his history-making hit ‘Fancy Like.’”
After adapting 2020’s COVID-19 impacted show as a tribute to frontline healthcare workers, the show will return to its traditional in-person format this year. Honorees are Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs, plus “Breakout Artist of the Year” Mickey Guyton and “Artist of a Lifetime” Randy Travis.
Airing live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year special will take place on Wednesday, October 13th at 9p/8c on CMT.