CMT will honor Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan as the premiere country artists of 2017 during the CMT Artists of the Year television special. The eighth annual event will air live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
With this year’s honors, Aldean and Bryan extend their lead as the artists with the most wins, with six each. Additionally, Bryan earns the distinction as the artist with the longest winning streak to date (2012 to present). This marks both Aldean and Urban’s return to the list for the first time since 2014. Stapleton and Florida Georgia Line notch their second and fifth consecutive wins, respectively.
This year, the special will extend beyond music to honor those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the volunteers contributing to the ongoing recovery efforts. In addition, throughout the event, country’s biggest stars will encourage fans to continue supporting the extensive recovery over the next year. More information will be announced at a later date.
During the 90-minute special, artists will toast one another with one-of-a-kind performances. Previous CMT Artists of the Year performances have included Adele and Darius Rucker performing Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now;” Meghan Trainor, Jill Scott and Kelsea Ballerini honoring Shania Twain with a medley of her biggest hits; Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis paying tribute to Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush;” and Maroon 5 covering Taylor Swift’s “Mine.”
Last year’s annual special honoring Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Shania Twain and Thomas Rhett fueled growth across the board with L+3 ratings climbing 21 percent from the prior year among A18-49, attracting nearly 2 million total viewers on premiere night and nearly 4 million total viewers throughout six telecasts throughout the weekend on CMT.