All photos by Alan Mayor.
CMT taped its Artists of the Year special last night (11/30) at the Factory at Franklin honoring Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band. Kevin Costner hosted the evening of performances and tributes.
Some of the honoree artists sang their own hits, while others were saluted in song by fellow stars. Aldean was joined onstage by Aerosmith’s Joe Perry for the rockin’ “My Kind of Party.” Zac Brown Band sang new single “Colder Weather” joined by the soulful Amos Lee. And Underwood performed a medley of charttoppers “Cowboy Casanova,” “Temporary Home” and “Undo It.”
Maroon 5 surprised honoree Taylor Swift by performing her latest hit, “Mine,” and Darius Rucker and Adele offered the Lady Antebellum smash “Need You Now.”
Surprises were also in store as the honorees watched pre-taped segments of praise from Charlie Daniels, Reba McEntire, Ryan Seacrest, Selena Gomez and more.
Among the presenters were Kid Rock, Kix Brooks, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride, Alabama’s Randy Owen, Randy Travis, Smokey Robinson, Hayley Williams (Paramore), celebrity chef Cat Cora, and Boston Red Sox player Josh Beckett.
CMT Artists of the Year will premiere Friday, December 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on CMT and CMT.com.
CMT selected Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band as Artists of the Year because in the last 12 months they have collectively received over 2.5 million plays of their current songs; sold over 8.5 million copies of their current albums; sold over 21 million individual downloads of their current singles; and topped both the touring and CMT.com charts.