In Photos: CMT Honors Artists Of The Year At Schermerhorn Soiree

Pictured (L-R) top row: Honorees Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton; (seated): Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R) top row: Honorees Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton; (seated): Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

At what is undoubtably one of the classiest parties of the year, CMT Artists of the Year ceremony took a turn honoring Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton alongside achievement honorees Shania Twain and Kelsea Ballerini.

The seventh annual event will air Thursday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. CT, delayed to prevent having overlapped with the presidential debate. Solo performances were made by honorees Florida Georgia Line and Stapleton, who delivered a show-stopping rendition of “Whiskey And You.”

Pictured (L-R): Brittney Marie Cole, Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard and Hayley Hubbard. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Brittney Marie Cole, Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard and Hayley Hubbard. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

 

Chris Stapleton. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Chris Stapleton. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Stapleton reminisced of his first 2014 television appearance during Bryan’s CMT performance of the co-written “Drink A Beer.” Bryan himself welcomed Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild (which released a new single, “Better Man,” today) for a performance of this year’s “Home Alone Tonight.” The quartet presented Bryan with a trophy and a bicycle with training wheels for his various stage mishaps throughout the year. The two Universal Music Group stars, along with Underwood, are final contenders for the 50th Annual CMA Awards in November.

Pictured (L-R): Luke Bryan with Little Big Town's Phillip Sweet, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Luke Bryan with Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

 

Carrie Underwood pictured in the foreground with songwriting trio The Love Junkies—Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna—in background. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Carrie Underwood pictured in the foreground with songwriting trio The Love Junkies—Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna—in background. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Underwood herself gave songwriting trio The Love Junkies—featuring Lori McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey—airtime during the CMT program for their “Like I’ll Never Love You Again.”

Thomas Rhett welcomed 18-year-old Swedish pop powerhouse Zara Larsson for a remixed mashup of their respective “Die A Happy Man” and “Never Forget You.”

Pictured (L-R): Thomas Rhett, Zara Larsson. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Thomas Rhett, Zara Larsson. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

 

Pictured (L-R): Kelsea Ballerini, Arsenio Hal. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Kelsea Ballerini, Arsenio Hal. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Ballerini’s honor came from Arsenio Hall, co-host of ABC’s Greatest Hits, which turned out to be a tearful moment when the songstress revealed the passing of her grandfather that afternoon.

Twain accepted her plaque, reminiscing on her 44 years of performance experience, after video remarks were made by honorees about her trailblazing success. “Music has always been my best friend….and I thank the fans who live for music too,” said Twain, who thanked the country fans for helping raise her after the passing of her parents.

Pictured (L-R): Carrie Underwood and Shania Twain. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Carrie Underwood and Shania Twain. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

 

Pictured (L-R): Kelsea Ballerini, Jill Scott, Meghan Trainor. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Kelsea Ballerini, Jill Scott, Meghan Trainor. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Meghan Trainor, Ballerini and R&B singer Jill Scott honored Twain with a medley of her hits, respectively singing “Still The One,” “Any Man Of Mine” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman.”

A Variety pre-party welcomed VIP guests, including those industry members listed in its Oct. 18 Music City Leaders Report.

“Congratulations to the CMT honorees tonight,” welcomed Steven Gaydos, Variety VP, Exec. Editor. “This week’s Variety tells you some stuff about CMT, the great artists tonight, the entire Music City Leaders Report, and profiles of great artists like Curly Putman and Bill Anderson. CMT helps make it possible for us to create this coverage.”

The current issue of Variety was distributed after the event while guests schmoozed, took photos and enjoyed catering inside the Schermerhorn’s hall including samples of lobster tater tots, black bean corn dogs, prawns, peach cups, chocolate ganache and a cheese and charcuterie smearing.

Pictured (L-R): Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

 

Pictured (L-R): Love Junkies' Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Love Junkies’ Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

 

Pictured (L-R): Chris Stapleton, Morgane Stapleton. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Chris Stapleton, Morgane Stapleton. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

 

Pictured (L-R): CMT's Leslie Fram, Luke Bryan, Shania Twain, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini and XXX. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): CMT’s Leslie Fram, Luke Bryan, Shania Twain, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini and guest. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

 

Pictured (L-R): Thomas Rhett and Lauren Gregory. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Thomas Rhett and Lauren Gregory. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

 

Pictured (L-R): Mike Fisher, Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Mike Fisher, Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

 

Pictured (L-R): Caroline Boyer and Luke Bryan. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Caroline Boyer and Luke Bryan. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

 

Photo: Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Photo: Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Follow MusicRow on Twitter

Category: Artist, Awards, Featured

About the Author

Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

View Author Profile