The annual CMT Artists Exhibition returned to Nashville on Wednesday.
Seven individual artists of the country’s music were celebrated live. Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Luke Combs, Kelsey Balls and Kane Brown have been recognized for their banner years in the genre.
Mickey Gayton, the most recognizable black artist in the country’s landscape, was named Artist of the Year, while Country Music Hall of Famer Randy Travis won the Lifetime Rare Artist Award.
All of the artists who won the 2021 Artists of the Year Award together have won 130 awards and aired more than 25 billion times during their musical careers.
After Misty Copeland introduced Gayton at the awards ceremony on Wednesday night, they performed the title of Yola Gayton’s album “Remember His Name,” which was sung by renowned artist of the year and British spiritual phenomenon. released in September.
“Country music is everyone’s music,” Gayton said.
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Ballari, Barrett, Brown and Combs also performed on Wednesday. Combs opened the show with his ballad Forever After All. Rapper sang “Three Wooden Crosses” in honor of Brown Travis, who was introduced to Nellie. They shared the stage with Jonas Brothers, who recently traveled, when they sang their song “With a Little Help from My Friends”.
At Stapleton’s request, 90s R&B great Boys II Men, along with Pentatonic singer Kevin Olusola, came to the show to perform Stapleton’s “Cold” belt.
Walker Hayes closed the show with his hit on TikTok called “Fancy Like.”