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CMT Artists of the Year

CMT Artists of the Year

  • Premiered: 
    December 3, 2010
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: CMT
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Award
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Musical
  • Tags: celebrity

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Plot Synopsis

Each year since 2010, CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR brings honorees together with their peers -- as well as celebrities from across the entertainment spectrum -- for a glamorous evening of performances from the country world and beyond, all in celebration of the successes of the past year. CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR honorees are chosen by ranking the top artists based on the following criteria: sales (physical albums, digital albums, and single downloads); country radio airplay based on spins; concert grosses as a headliner or co-headliner; and activity on (video streams, searches, and artist page views). The rankings are then compiled to identify the leading performers across the four categories cumulatively. Honorees have included:

2010: Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band
2011: Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift
2012: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood
2013: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes and Tim McGraw
2014: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban
2015: Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt
2016: Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett
2017: Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan
2018: Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman and Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott
2019: Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett
2020: annual event replaced by "CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special"

Live from Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the 2021 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR premiered on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 from 9-10:30pm ET (live)/PT (tape) on CMT. This special honors Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton, and Travis, celebrating them both in-person and remotely as 2021's country music artists of the year. In addition, country music icon Randy Travis receives the "Artist of a Lifetime" Award, with a special tribute performance by Garth Brooks. The 90-minute special is scheduled to feature additional performances by Boyz II Men, Jonas Brothers, and Kevin Olusola of Pentatonix. Plus, Walker Hayes and Yola are scheduled to perform, along with Barrett, Brown, Ballerini, Combs, and Guyton.



  • The Factory at Franklin (2010 & 2012) - Nashville, Tennessee USA - Map It!
  • Bridgestone Arena (2011) - Nashville, Tennessee USA - Map It!
  • Music City Center (2013) - Nashville, Tennessee USA - Map It!
  • Schermerhorn Symphony Center (2014-2019 & 2021) - Nashville, Tennessee USA