CMT has announced that Meghan Trainor, Jill Scott, pop star Zara Larsson and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild will join the lineup of performers set to pay tribute to the “2016 CMT Artists of the Year” honorees when the special premieres Thursday, October 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. After taking the world by storm at the 2016 Olympic Games, gold medalist gymnasts Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian will join talk show host and comedic star Arsenio Hall and Little Big Town as presenters.
Mega-superstar Meghan Trainor will lend her girl power prowess alongside powerhouse vocalist Jill Scott and honoree Kelsea Ballerini in paying tribute to the one and only Shania Twain, who will be honored with the third-annual “Artist of a Lifetime” award, while Swedish rising sensation Zara Larsson will join honoree Thomas Rhett in a can’t-miss mashup of Rhett’s CMA Song of the Year, “Die a Happy Man,” and Larsson’s Billboard Hot 100 smash hit “Never Forget You.” Karen Fairchild will join honoree Luke Bryan for a performance of their No. 1 duet “Home Alone Tonight.”
Taped live at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the seventh -annual 90-minute special “CMT Artists of the Year” will feature once-in-a-lifetime performances, unexpected tributes and unforgettable toasts as the biggest stars of music, film and television gather to celebrate the five artists selected by CMT as the top artists of the year: Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett. These artists collectively dominated the last 12 months ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping album and singles, and selling out arenas around the country. Additionally, CMT will honor rising star, Kelsea Ballerini, with the second annual Artists of the Year “Breakout” Award and country music legend, Shania Twain, with the third-annual “Artist of a Lifetime” award. Additional performers, presenters, and special guests will be announced at a later date.