‘CMT Artists of the Year’ returned with an invitation-only crowd
The artists honored were Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs, together with “Breakout Artist of the Year” Mickey Guyton and “Artist of a Lifetime” Randy Travis.
The program started with Combs carrying out “Forever After All,” accepting his award from Eric Church. Combs thanked the fans and his partner, and provided an unique call out to Randy Travis for his impact.
Barrett sang “The Good Ones,” backed by her other half and a guitar player.
Speaker Misty Copeland presented Guyton who, together with Yola, got a standing ovation after singing “Remember Her Name.” When Guyton accepted her award, she informed the crowd “country music is really everyone’s music” and thanked her moms and dads.
At one point, Garth Brooks presented Travis with and provided him with the “Artist of a Lifetime” award. Travis’ partner Mary Davis signed up with Brooks onstage to accept and she thanked the audience, stating, “Randy’s stroke may have taken his voice, but didn’t take the man or the heart, and it didn’t take the music.”
Boys II Guys, signed up with by Pentatonix’s Kevin Olusola, honored Chris Stapleton with efficiency of his tune, “Cold.”
Ballerini accepted her award from Nick Jonas, thanking fans for their assistance.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.