Updated: Nashville Prepping For Tonight’s CMT Awards

Rumors abound that Taylor Swift will perform tonight with T-Pain. Photo: CMT.com

Rumors abound that Taylor Swift will perform tonight with T-Pain. Photo: CMT.com

Updated 2:15 PM: Jamey Johnson will be presented the inaugural Rhapsody Music Without Limits Award on the red carpet at the CMT Awards. The honor is for artists who have the ability to push boundaries with their artistry, exhibiting a willingness to explore and introduce new sounds into an existing music genre.

Randy Houser’s hit single “Boots On” will be the theme song for the CMT Music Awards Red Carpet Show. The song will be used as the bumper in and out of commercials. A recent hot topic of conversation for several media outlets, including, The CBS Early Show, CNN and Perez Hilton’s site, the video for “Boots On” incorporates the YouTube viral video of a 4-year-old rocking out to the song. The viral video is closing in on a million combined streams and continues to receive traffic on a daily basis.

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The 2009 CMT Music Awards are tonight (6/16) at 7 PM at the Sommet Center. The list of stars set for appearances or performances is an incredible mix of Country’s finest and celebs from outside Nashville. Just announced are presenters Toby Keith, Alison Krauss, Kellie Pickler, Heidi Newfield, Tennessee Titans’ Kerry Collins, ventriloquist (America’s Got Talent) Terry Fator, model Karolina Kurkova, and Melissa Peterman.

Leading up to the main show, the one-hour 2009 CMT Music Awards Red Carpet special will start at 6 PM with hosts Katie Cook and Lance Smith.

Hosted by actor/comedian Bill Engvall, there will be performances by Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Keith, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and British rockers Def Leppard. Jason Michael Carroll, Carter Twins, Eric Church, Eli Young Band, Gloriana and Joey + Rory will perform on the Nationwide Insurance performance stage.

Previously announced presenters include American Idol’s Randy Jackson, Dancing With The Stars’ recent champions Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas, The O’Reilly Factor’s Bill O’Reilly, actor Luke Wilson, rockers Kid Rock and Ted Nugent and rap artist T-Pain. In addition, country stars Rodney Atkins, Billy Currington, Julianne Hough, Naomi Judd, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack and CMT’s Cook and Smith will be on-hand to present.

Voting for the fan-voted show is now closed. The final nominees for Video of the Year will be announced at the beginning of the live show and fans can vote at CMT.com and via text on their Verizon Wireless phones throughout the live broadcast (ET/CT only) to determine the night’s big winner.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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