2021 CMT Artist Of The Year: Everything You Need To Know

The CMT Artist Of The Year ceremony is upon us! The 90-minute special will take place on Wednesday, October 13…


Lauren Jo Black

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October 13, 2021

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CMT Artists of the Year 2021

The CMT Artist Of The Year ceremony is upon us! The 90-minute special will take place on Wednesday, October 13 at 9/8c on CMT. The show, airing live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, will feature never-before-seen performances and collaborations, with special guests, performers and presenters.

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the 2021 CMT Artist Of The Year awards, including how to watch, who’s performing, appearing and more.

How To Watch

The 2021 CMT Artist Of The Year ceremony, will air on Wednesday, October 13 at 9/8c on CMT.


Artist Of The Year: Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton
Artist Of A Lifetime: Randy Travis
Breakout Artist Of The Year: Mickey Guyton 


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Boyz II Men and Kevin Olusola of Pentatonix will honor Stapleton with a special tribute performance.

The Jonas Brothers will perform Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” with Artist Of The Year honoree, Ballerini, on their Remember This Tour from Franklin, Tennessee’s FirstBank Amphitheater.

In addition to Boyz II Men, Olusola, Jonas Brothers and Ballerini, Yola, Brown, Barrett, Combs and Stapleton will also perform during the star-studded ceremony.

Walker Hayes will make his awards show debut with a performance of “Fancy Like” to close out the show.


Garth Brooks will honor country legend Randy Travis with the coveted Artist Of A Lifetime Award.

Eric Church, Connie Britton, Lady A, Michael A. Smith, Misty Copeland, Morgan Evans and Nelly will also present during the special.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.