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CMT Artists of the Year Changes Tone in Light of Recent Tragedies

Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

The annual CMT Artists of the Year ceremony will take on a more somber tone in 2017 in light of recent tragic events around the world.

CMT has announced that the event, which honors a handful of country music’s top acts each year, will now be a “night of hope and healing” in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, where 58 people were killed, as well as the hurricanes that ravaged Texas, Florida, the Caribbean Islands and Puerto Rico recently.

2017 CMT Artists of the Year honorees Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line and Chris Stapleton will forgo award acceptance speeches and instead deliver heartfelt messages of peace and comfort while thanking fans for their support over the course of their careers.

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Little Big Town will unite with acclaimed R&B singer Andra Day for a rendition of Day’s Grammy nominated song “Rise Up.” Lee Ann Womack and Common will join the two acts on stage for a follow-up performance of “Stand Up for Something,” a powerful collaboration between Day and Common released in 2017.

“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,” CMT and TV Land General Manager Frank Tanki says in a press release. “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.”

The special event will air live from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 8PM ET.

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Next: What Artists Need to Know About Moving on After Vegas

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