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2017 CMT Artists of the Year Ceremony to Become ‘a Night of Hope and Healing’

jason aldean live photos
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

In light of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting, as well as the devastating hurricanes that recently battered Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, CMT is morphing its annual Artists of the Year ceremony into “a night of hope and healing.” The event will take place on Oct. 18 as planned, but with a focus on the healing power of music rather than on the 2017 Artists of the Year honorees.

According to a press release, the 2017 Artists of the Year event will bring together artists from various genres and feature never-before-seen collaborations and performances from this year’s honorees: Jason AldeanLuke BryanFlorida Georgia LineChris Stapleton and Keith Urban. Instead of formal awards presentations and speeches, the five acts will be able to offer heartfelt messages to their fans, and members of the entertainment community will share words of hope and healing.

In addition to performances from the 2017 honorees, the 2017 Artists of the Year ceremony will also feature Lee Ann Womack, Little Big Town and Andra Day performing the song “Rise Up,” and a collaboration on Day’s song “Stand Up for Something” between LBT, Day and Common. Additional performers will be announced in the coming days.

“Given the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the mass shootings in Las Vegas, we feel a commitment to our fans to address all of the tragedies not in one somber and solemn moment or segment, but rather devote the entire evening to uplifting the fans through high-spirited music,” says CMT and TVLand General Manager Frank Tanki. “The special has always been a place where artists from different genres can stand side by side, and now more than ever, we want to showcase the power of unity and resilience through music.”

Previously announced presenters for the 2017 CMT Artists of the Year ceremony include the cast of the TV show Nashville, as well as Ellen DeGeneres, Matthew McConaughey, Selena Gomez, Billy Bob Thornton, Roger Clemens and Morgan Freeman and more. Additionally, Sam Hunt has been announced as the inaugural CMT Song of the Year recipient.

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