Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan Among CMT Artists Of The Year Honorees

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CMT just announced the recipients of its 2016 Artists Of The Year awards. The televised show will honor Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Carrie Underwood this year.

The network also pegged Kelsea Ballerini as 2016’s “Breakout Artist of the Year.” CMT practically invented the award last year to honor Chris Stapleton, who had just come off a monster night at the CMA Awards.

Ballerini is on a similar roll, thanks to her third No. 1 single “Peter Pan.” This week, she became the first female artist to top Billboard‘s “Country Airplay” and “Hot Country Charts” at the same time.

The entertainment channel promises an evening of good times at the 7th annual event. The network promises “never-before-seen performances alongside lighthearted and emotional moments fueled by plenty of champagne during the 90-minute special on CMT.”

Additional performers and guest appearances are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Talk about a mixed bag of a lineup. Stapleton is still riding the huge wave of 2015’s album Traveller. Carrie Underwood’s Storyteller has already spawned five singles since its October 2015 release.

And then there’s Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line, two names who command the attention of CMT’s target demographic. Hey, they are a television network, after all.

While CMT generally falls on the lower tier of award shows, anytime anybody calls you the “artist of the year,” it’s a huge compliment. Catch all the action of this year’s show on Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan Among CMT Artists Of The Year Honorees