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CMT Unveils ‘Artists of the Year’

Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett will be celebrated in special

CMT named its “Artists of the Year” on Tuesday: Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett.

The five will be celebrated at the seventh-annual “CMT Artists of the Year” special, premiering from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Thursday, October 20 at 9 p.m. Each will be honored with performances during a 90-minute special on the Viacom cable channel.

Following last year’s nod as breakthrough artist, Stapleton joins first-time recipient Rhett and veteran “CMT Artists of the Year” Underwood (2010, 2012, 2016), Florida Georgia Line (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and Bryan, who now ties with Jason Aldean as the artists with most wins with five consecutive years (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).

Meanwhile, Kelsea Ballerini will be officially awarded the second-annual Breakout Artist of the Year honor during the show. She’s the only female artist in country music history to reach No. 1 with each of her first three singles from a debut album (the perfectly named “First Time.”

Additional awards, performers and guests will be announced at a later date.

Former “CMT Artists of the Year” honorees include Jason Aldean (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Kenny Chesney (2011, 2012), Eric Church (2012), Hunter Hayes (2013), Toby Keith (2012), Lady Antebellum (2010, 2011), Little Big Town (2015), Miranda Lambert (2012, 2014), Tim McGraw (2013), Brad Paisley (2011), Blake Shelton (2015), Taylor Swift (2010, 2011), Keith Urban (2014), Sam Hunt (2015) and Zac Brown Band (2010).