CMT’s Artists of the Year awards show is set to return after hitting pause in 2020 to recognize pandemic frontline workers in healthcare, military, and education with the “CMT Honors Our Heroes” special.
The 2021 CMT Artists of the Year ceremonies, which will air live from Nashville, recognize the successes over the last 365 days of Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, and Luke Combs. They will be honored during the live event on October 13 at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CST from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.
A release, according to Rolling Stone, notes that the five featured artists led CMT’s platforms in the previous 12 months and released chart-topping singles and albums while navigating a music business that suddenly didn’t involve touring.
Stapleton issued his third album Starting Over late in 2020, a project that helped him earn multiple CMA nods this year.
In other country news, Eric Church and Chris Stapleton top the list of nominations for the 55th CMA Awards, which were recently announced. The two stars have five each, while Gabby Barrett, mix engineer Jason Hall, and producer Jay Joyce have four apiece.
Winners will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting CMA members; the third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members on October 1, and voting ends on October 27. The awards ceremony itself takes place on November 10.
Church and Stapleton are both among the nominees for the centerpiece Entertainer of the Year award, along with Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood. Artists securing three nominations each are Brothers Osborne, first-time nominee Kane Brown, Combs, Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, and Chris Young.
Church is also shortlisted for Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year (Heart), Single of the Year (“Hell Of A View”), and Song of the Year (“Hell Of A View”). Stapleton is nominated in the exact same categories, as Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year (Starting Over), Single of the Year (“Starting Over”), and Song of the Year (“Starting Over”).