‘Heal­ing,’ not awards, is CMT show’s goal

The Columbus Dispatch - - Not To Be Missed -

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.


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