WATCH: Luke Combs Kicks Off 2021 CMT Artists of the Year with ‘Forever After All’
Country superstar Luke Combs put his love story on full display with a touching performance of his chart-topping single, “Forever…
Luke Combs; Photo by Getty Images for CMT
Combs performed the Platinum-certified track from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center stage in Nashville, Tennessee, as his fellow honorees watched on.
The heart-melting track, co-written by Combs alongside Drew Parker and Rob Williford, is the third single of a three-part trilogy about his wife, Nicole Hocking Combs, as the singer previously shared, “first came ‘Beautiful Crazy,’ then “Better Together,’ and now ‘Forever After All.”
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The North Carolina native released the song on the deluxe edition of his chart-topping 2019 album, What You See Is What You Get, dubbed What You See Ain’t Always What You Get, which featured a total of five brand-new tracks.
2021 CMT Artists of the Year special aired live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
The show honored Randy Travis with the highly-coveted Artist of a Lifetime title, Combs, Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini as the 2021 Artists of the Year and Mickey Guyton with the Breakout Artist of the Year honor.
The 90-minute special, which aired on Wednesday, October 13 at 9/8c, also featured performances by Combs, Barrett and more.
Additionally, the ceremony included several star-studded collaborations and tributes, including Boyz II Men with Kevin Olusola of Pentatonix honoring Stapleton, Brown paying homage to Travis, and Mickey Guyton performing “Remember Her Name” with Yola. Ballerini joined forces with the Jonas Brothers for a cover of a Joe Cocker hit.
Making his award show debut, Walker Hayes closed out the show with a performance of “Fancy Like.”
Eric Church, Lady A, Nelly, Connie Britton, Michael W. Smith, Copeland, Morgan Evans and CMT’s Cody Alan made special appearances as presenters throughout the evening as well.
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.