Instead of honoring the past year's top country artists or predicting the genre's next breakout stars, the Wednesday, June 3 broadcast CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of The Year Special puts the spotlight on workers providing necessary services on the frontlines of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Footage of Brothers Osborne, Florida Georgia Line, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett and more to be announced will be filmed directly from their own homes, with each performer offering one-of-a-kind tributes and callouts to COVID-19 heroes.
"The CMT Artists of the Year franchise has always been reflective of the important issues of our time, and this year, we all felt it necessary to shift our focus to honoring the real heroes during these unprecedented times," shared Leslie Fram, CMT's Senior Vice President of Music & Talent, in a press release.
"From the first responders and healthcare workers to members of the military, our educators, food industry workers and so many more, the country music community will come together to honor these heroic men and women. The evening of unity will feature incredible performances, uplifting tributes and a salute to those risking their lives on the frontlines of this crisis," she added.
CMT Artists of the Year events have praised American ingenuity in trying times before, with past events positioning country music's biggest stars to raise awareness and contributions for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the mass shooting at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas.
The uplifting celebration airs the night before what would've been the kickoff of Nashville's annual CMA Fest. The event got cancelled in late March over COVID-19 concerns.