CMT has announced that its Artists of the Year special has been moved forward to 3 June, and reconfigured to acknowledge the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The show has effectively swapped places with the CMT Music Awards, normally a June fixture but recently moved by the broadcaster to Wednesday, 14 October.
Meanwhile, Artists of the Year has now been renamed CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special. Instead of honouring the artists with the greatest musical achievements of the past year, it will turn the spotlight on the frontline heroes risking their own lives to help others during the pandemic.
The heavyweight country stars named for the special, which will of course feature a series of at-home performances, are Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line, Brothers Osborne, Lady Antebellum and Kelsea Ballerini. The broadcast time on 3 June is 8pm ET/PT on CMT. As reported, Rhett is also due to star in the first iHeartRadio Living Room Concert Series show tomorrow (29).
Leslie Fram, CMT’s senior VP of music and talent, says: “The CMT Artists of the Year franchise has always been reflective of the important issues of our time, and this year, we all felt it necessary to shift our focus to honouring the real heroes during these unprecedented times.
“Incredible performances, uplifting tributes”
“From the first responders and healthcare workers to members of the military, our educators, food industry workers and so many more, the country music community will come together to honour these heroic men and women. The evening of unity will feature incredible performances, uplifting tributes and a salute to those risking their lives on the frontlines of this crisis.”
October’s rescheduled CMT Music Awards is due to take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The announcement of its new staging was made in early April, just after the cancellation of this year’s 2020 CMA Fest, again on safety grounds during the crisis. It will return on 10-13 June 2021.