Randy Travis to Join Distinguished List With CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award

Tune in to a night of unexpected all-star performances on Oct. 13.

Written by Chris Parton
Randy Travis to Join Distinguished List With CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award
Randy Travis: Credit; Robert Tractenberg

Randy Travis will join a very short and very distinguished list of country icons next week, set to be honored with a CMT Artist of a Lifetime award.

Receiving the honor during the annual CMT Artists of the Year event on October 13, he’ll be revered for a groundbreaking career that helped bring country tradition back into the ’80s and ’90s mainstream, 35 years after his Storms of Life album debut.

Returning to its original format after adapting last year to salute frontline healthcare workers, the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year event will once again honor a handful of stars chosen as game-changers in the previous year. This year’s field includes Chris Stapleton, Gabby BarrettKane Brown, Kelsea BalleriniLuke Combs — and “Breakthrough” award winner Mickey Guyton — and each will be recognized with special tribute performances and unexpected collaborations from their country-star peers. But Travis’ moment will look beyond the last 12 months.

Presented by The Ram Truck Brand, he’ll join previous “Lifetime” honorees including Reba McEntire (2019), Loretta Lynn (2018), Shania Twain (2016), Kenny Rogers (2015) and Merle Haggard (2014).

“To think you receive a Lifetime Achievement award for sharing your heart with the world through music is really beyond words of gratitude,” Travis says in statement about the honor. “CMT has been so good to me throughout my career and I’m happy they believe I gave something in return. I’m blessed and most thankful.”

“It is a privilege to announce Randy Travis as the recipient of this year’s CMT Artist of a Lifetime award. His historic career encompassing multiple genres illuminates his extraordinary talent, determination, and lasting influence on country music and beyond,” said Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President, Music & Talent, CMT. “Randy’s unmistakable, traditional country sound has shaped multiple generations and we’re honored to celebrate this deserved lifetime honor with him.”

The 2021 CMT Artists of the Year celebration will air live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Wednesday, October 13 at 9p/8c on CMT.

A special 35th anniversary edition of Storms of Life from Randy Travis is out now, featuring newly-remastered versions of hits like “On The Other Hand” and “Diggin’ Up Bones” — plus three never-before-heard tracks.