Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett have been selected by CMT as the premiere country artists of 2016 and will be celebrated at the seventh annual CMT Artists of the Year special, it was announced Tuesday (Sept. 13).
Additionally, Kelsea Ballerini is set to receive the second-annual Breakout Artist of the Year honor.
The 2016 CMT Artists of the Year special premieres from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Each artist will be honored with never-before-seen performances alongside lighthearted and emotional moments fueled by plenty of champagne during the 90-minute special on CMT.
Following last year’s nod as breakthrough artist, Chris Stapleton joins first-time recipient Thomas Rhett and veteran CMT Artists of the Year Carrie Underwood (2010, 2012, 2016), Florida Georgia Line (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and Luke Bryan, who now ties with Jason Aldean as the artists with most wins with five consecutive years (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
This year’s five honorees collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping album and singles and selling out concerts across the nation.