CMT today announced “CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special,” an uplifting celebration and virtual tribute to recognize the most vital and inspirational Americans on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-hour special will premiere Wednesday, June 3 at 8 PM ET/PT on CMT.
“CMT Celebrates Our Heroes” will feature one-of-a-kind tributes, callouts and performances from country music’s biggest stars including Brothers Osborne, Florida Georgia Line, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett and more to be announced, all filmed directly from their own homes and virtually produced by CMT.
The “CMT Celebrates Our Heroes” special marks a departure from the traditional “CMT Artists of the Year” format which honors the year’s top country artists with a live televised Nashville-based celebration.
“The ‘CMT Artists of the Year’ franchise has always been reflective of the important issues of our time, and this year, we all felt it necessary to shift our focus to honoring the real heroes during these unprecedented times,” shared Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President of Music & Talent, CMT. “From the first responders and healthcare workers to members of the military, our educators, food industry workers and so many more, the country music community will come together to honor these heroic men and women. The evening of unity will feature incredible performances, uplifting tributes and a salute to those risking their lives on the frontlines of this crisis.”
CMT is additionally looking to highlight new stories of unsung heroes who have done exceptional things for their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Personal stories of those who have positively impacted their community, state and nation can be submitted directly at CMT.com for potential inclusion in the special.
In words and music, country music’s biggest names will recognize the following categories of COVID-19 heroes, including but not limited to:
- Healthcare Workers: Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, ambulance drivers and EMT’s fighting the heroic battle to treat the sick and dying while putting their own health risks aside.
- Food Industry: Farmers, distributors, migrant workers and truckers helping to provide the food that restaurants and grocery workers put on our tables.
- American Ingenuity: Big industry and small businesses who are retrofitting their production lines to provide ventilators, personal protective equipment and hand sanitizers, along with the scientists who are racing the clock to develop effective treatments that will stem the tide until a vaccine is perfected.
- Infrastructure: Educators, delivery drivers, sanitation workers and utility laborers who are necessary to maintaining our way of life.
- U.S. Military: Active and reserve military personnel who have answered the call to step up for any duty large or small, and their families who are left to navigate these uncertain times alone.
- First Responders: Fire departments and law enforcement officers who continue to protect our homes, families and our country.
In previous years, “CMT Artists of the Year” has been an advocate for important causes, raising both awareness and contributions for those impacted by such natural disasters as Hurricane Harvey, the tragic events at Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, and an all-female ceremony dedicated to the women of country music in 2018. Last year, the special celebrated its 10th anniversary and honored Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett as the top artists of the year, with Reba McEntire and Ashley McBryde receiving the “Artist of a Lifetime” and “Breakout Artist of the Year” awards, respectively.
“CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson; the Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino.