Kelsea Ballerini delivered a touching version of Carole King and Jame Taylor’s 1971 classic hit “You’ve Got A Friend” live from her house in Nashville, Tenn. to fans across the country during Wednesday (June 3) evening’s two-hour CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special.
“I’m really excited to be apart of tonight, just honoring everybody thats been a hero during this incredibly difficult time. Thank you so much for everything you’re doing,” Ballerini gushed before performing. “I want to honor all of the Youth and the kids that have just stepped up and been creative and been wonderful and bold and who have helped, Helped their neighbors, helped their friends, helped their community. You’re so wonderful, I’m so proud of you and this is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists that I wanted to sing to honor you guys tonight.”
Ballerini’s performance honors school children, adolescents, teenagers and all of our Youth who have had to adapt to the new normals presented to them with the ongoing global health crisis.
“You’ve Got A Friend” was written by Carole King and first included on her album, Tapestry. Another well-known version of the song is by James Taylor from his album, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. Taylor’s version was released as a single in 1971 and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The two versions were recorded simultaneously in 1971 with shared musicians. The song went on to win Grammy Awards for both Taylor (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and King (Song Of The Year).
CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special recognized COVID-19 heroes in the following categories: Healthcare, Education, Business, Community Leaders, Food Industry, Infrastructure, First Responders, US Military, and more. The TV special was executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson; the Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino.
The show also included appearances from Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Kelsea Ballerini, Sam Hunt, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town Florida Georgia Line, Luke Combs, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Lee Brice, Reba McEntire, Zac Brown, Brandi Carlile, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown and Lady Antebellum.
The star-studded event aired on CMT at 8 p.m. ET/PT with a three-network simulcast on Paramount Network, Pop TV and TV Land.
Viewers were encouraged to visit CMTOneCountry.com to find out how to give back to those who need it most and see how artists themselves are making an impact during this difficult time.