Recap: CMT Artists of the Year Offers Hope After Tragedy

CMT Artists of the Year led the charge of hope and healing Wednesday night (Oct. 18) in a 90-minute year-end special.

The 2017 event traded traditional acceptance speeches for a celebration of human spirit with honorees Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban.

Andra Day, Little Big Town, Danielle Bradbery, Lee Ann Womack and Common opened the eighth annual special with a powerful performance of “Rise Up” and “Stand Up For Something.”

Then, each 2017 honoree took the stage for a heartfelt opening monologue in tribute to the unrelenting support of music fans everywhere.

Performers included Backstreet Boys and Phillip Phillips as well as honorees Luke, Chris and Keith, while presenters included Lionel Richie, Amy Grant, Vince Gill and Brothers Osborne.

Jason closed the show alongside Keith, Chris and Little Big Town with a moving performance of the late Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”

The night also included additional video messages from Blake Shelton, Dolly Parton, Kelsea Ballerini and more supporting CMT’s charity initiative CMT One Country and its efforts to support victims of natural disasters that rocked the nation and the violence at Route 91Harvest festival in Las Vegas.

Get full coverage at, and don't miss Hot 20 Countdown's red carpet recap Saturday & Sunday (Oct 21-22) at 9a/8c on CMT.


Photo: Getty Images

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