The present featured a heartfelt mixture of music and tales of hope, because the artists shared (through video segments) how they weathered the pandemic and made probably the most of being off the street.
Honoree Combs began off the night with a rendition of “Perpetually After All,” adopted by Woman A’s Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood, who took the stage to welcome viewers. In the meantime, Eric Church feted Combs through a video tribute, saying, “By any definition, his music has made him a bonafide celebrity.”
“Everyone on this room pushes me to be higher,” Combs mentioned in accepting his CMT artist of the yr honor, earlier than addressing fellow honoree Travis. “Randy, I watched you play on this constructing just a few years in the past and was blown away. To be in the identical room with you and the identical place and have only a small fraction of the affect you’ve had on music.” He added, “Chris, everybody needs to be you, dude. You’re so cool man. That is for the followers, that is for nation music.”
Modern Christian Music celebrity Michael W. Smith honored Barrett, and recounted her story of writing “I Hope” following her competitors on American Idol. “I Hope” quickly grew to become successful not solely on nation radio, however crossed over in a serious solution to pop radio. Barrett, wearing a glossy white pantsuit, took the stage to carry out her followup to “I Hope,” the three-week Billboard Nation Airplay No. 1 “The Good Ones,” her voice complemented by a sparse choice of piano, guitar, violin and background vocalists.
“It’s been a dream come true,” Barret informed the group.
CMT breakout artist of the yr winner Guyton joined Yola onstage for a hovering rendition of the anthem “Keep in mind Her Identify,” the title observe of Guyton’s recently-released full-length debut album. Guyton’s breakout artist of the yr CMT honor was her newest to this point this yr, following a Grammy nomination for finest nation solo efficiency for “Black Like Me” and a efficiency of the music on the Grammys stage. Guyton additionally co-hosted the Academy of Nation Music Awards alongside Keith City and earned a nomination for brand new feminine artist of the yr. She can be up for brand new artist of the yr throughout November’s Nation Music Affiliation Awards.
Guyton matched the ability and inspirational tone of her collaboration with Yola through her acceptance speech.
“I really like you a lot, Yola. How superb is she?” Guyton mentioned. “Take a look at God. When the Lord closes a door, someplace he opens a window and in my case, He shattered a complete glass ceiling. Three years in the past this was not even a risk for me. I had given up on myself and my dream to sing a style of music that I held so near my coronary heart. And it wasn’t till I had a dialog with my husband and he informed me to dwell and be authentically me, unapologetically as a Black lady residing in America. And it modified my life and I made it my life’s function to point out that nation music actually is everybody’s music. While you simply take a second and step exterior of yourselves, you’ll hear a number of the most stunning music that you’ll ever hear from so many superb folks.
“So to that little seven-year-old Black lady at house, that indigenous boy, that LGBTQIA+ teen and that Latino boy or lady, and anybody marginalized or unseen—and sure, even the haters on social media, that is for you. I’m right here for you. I’m my sister’s keeper and thanks Nashville for this honor. I’m blown away. I’m so grateful so lots of you guys put me on a platform if you had no incentive to take action, and I take that and I honor it, and I’ll do the identical shifting ahead for different up-and-coming artists.”
Whereas Guyton impressed one other technology of artists who will at some point have their very own second within the highlight, Garth Brooks honored a rustic music legend who has paved the best way for right this moment’s crop of artists.
“I’ve mentioned it earlier than and I’ll say it once more: Randy Travis single-handedly saved nation music,” Brooks mentioned in honoring Travis with the artist of a lifetime honor.
“Although it occurred within the ‘80s, it’s nonetheless right this moment,” Brooks mentioned. “I wouldn’t be standing right here if it wasn’t for Randy Travis. I don’t assume any of us could be…each artist in nation music that takes the stage over the following 100 years ought to bow to this man and thank him for his contribution to nation music. An artist like this solely comes alongside as soon as in a lifetime. I do know in case you are like me, you pray that one other Randy Travis reveals up each day.”
Travis, joined by his spouse Mary, took the stage as the group roared its approval.
“The stroke could have taken the voice, nevertheless it didn’t take the person and it didn’t take the guts,” Mary Travis mentioned, referring to the stroke Travis suffered in 2013. “And what else it didn’t take? The music.”
Brown echoed that sentiment, utilizing his solo efficiency throughout the night to honor Travis with a rendition of Travis’ 2003 hit “Three Picket Crosses.”
“Randy, thanks for letting me do that. You understand I really like you to dying,” Brown mentioned.
Upon accepting his personal CMT artist of the yr honor, Brown paid tribute to his late drummer Kenny Dixon, who died in 2019. Brown additionally informed Travis, “Randy, I simply wish to say you might be such an affect, man…I see you all over the place, you might be doing all your factor. You’re simply being such a great position mannequin. You’re the man so thanks for letting me do that. Additionally, each different artist in right here, I really like you…y’all symbolize nation music so nicely. Chris Stapleton, after I was rehearsing, I’m not going to lie I used to be like, ‘Man, why I gotta sing when Chris Stapleton is correct right here.’ However thanks guys.”
Former Nashville actress Connie Britton honored Stapleton together with his award, whereas Boyz II Males and Pentatonix’s Kevin Olusola carried out Stapleton’s “Chilly.”
“I don’t assume that’s Chris Stapleton’s ‘Chilly’ anymore. That’s Boyz II Males’s ‘Chilly’ now,” Stapleton mentioned following the efficiency.
Ballerini was not in attendance throughout the night as she is on tour with Jonas Brothers, however was featured through a distant efficiency, teaming together with her tourmates for “With a Little Assist From My Mates.” Over the previous yr, Ballerini received her first CMT Music Award (for CMT efficiency of the yr for “The Different Woman” that includes Halsey) and co-hosted the CMT Music Awards alongside Brown. Throughout her acceptance speech, she recalled releasing an album [kelsea] simply because the pandemic began, and the way she made one of the best of it, releasing a followup album [ballerini], teaming with Kenny Chesney for the nation single “half of my hometown,” and collaborating with LANY on the pop observe “I Give up Consuming.”
“I moved to Nashville after I was 15 and I moved with this record of desires I’ve,” she mentioned throughout the distant efficiency, reflecting on what she has discovered because the begin of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. “On the time, it was [to] be a part of the Grand Ole Opry and listen to my music on nation radio. It’s been unbelievable as a result of I’ve gotten to mark so lots of these off. Then I made an album and I put it out in a pandemic. After which, I simply remade the album. I had different touring plans this fall after which I acquired a name from Kevin, Nick and Joe…what I’ve discovered is to loosen up my grip on what I believe I need and simply be right here.”
This yr’s CMT Artists of the 12 months ceremony closed out by doing simply that, and welcoming Walker Hayes for his very of-the-moment smash hit “Fancy Like,” which has been burning up Billboard‘s Scorching 100 after first going viral on Tiktok. As Hayes provided up the music’s lyrics about bourbon road steaks and Oreo shakes, the digicam panned to these within the viewers, as artists akin to Brown and Barrett nodded alongside.
Picture Supply : www.billboard.com – https://www.billboard.com/articles/information/awards/9645076/mickey-guyton-kane-brown-kelsea-ballerini-randy-travis-cmt-artists-of-the-year/
Below Part 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “truthful use” for functions akin to criticism, remark, information reporting, instructing, scholarship, and analysis. Honest use is a use permitted by copyright statute that may in any other case be infringing.”