‘Healing,’ not awards, is CMT show’s goal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — CMT is forgoing formal award presentations during this year’s Artists of the Year show and devoting the entire live show to “a night of hope and healing through the power of music” in the wake of this month’s mass shooting at a countrymusic festival in Las Vegas.
The cable network said Thursday that the new format for Wednesday’s show will focus on fans and on those affected by recent devastating hurricanes and wildfires. The show will air live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center at 8 p.m. Eastern.
“It doesn’t feel right to be patting ourselves on the back that night like we would normally do, but instead turn the focus a little bit toward the fans and thank them for what they’ve done for the artists,” said Margaret Comeaux, the show’s executive producer.
Each of the show’s honorees, who include Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban, agreed with the changes, Comeaux said.
Musicians will participate in public-service announcements throughout the night.
The show will also direct fans to the CMT One Country website, which has resources for volunteer opportunities, charities and relief organizations.
The show will begin with a performance of “Rise Up” by Andra Day, joined by the Grammy-winning Little Big Town. Day and Common will perform their collaboration “Stand Up for Something” with Little Big Town and Lee Ann Womack.
Aldean, who was the headliner at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1 when the gunman fired on fans, played his first concert since the shooting, performing Thursday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after having canceled shows in Los Angeles, San Diego and Anaheim, California, last week out of respect for the victims and to take time to mourn. The singer visited shooting victims in a Las Vegas hospital Sunday.