WATCH: Riley Green Honors Luke Combs With ‘CMT Artists of the Year’ Tribute Performance: ‘I’m Super Proud Of Him’

Riley Green; Photo by Getty Images for CMT
Riley Green; Photo by Getty Images for CMT
Riley Green; Photo by Getty Images for CMT

Riley Green honored his friend and soon-to-be tour mate, Luke Combs, with a performance of Combs’ chart-topping hit, “The Kind Of Love We Make,” during the 2022 CMT Artists of the Year celebration. 

With his guitar in hand, Green took to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center stage for a tribute performance for CMT Artists of the Year honoree, Combs, who was unable to attend the show. 

Riley Green; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT
Riley Green; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT

“I get to sing in Luke Combs’ place tonight, so, no big deal,” Green shared ahead of the show. “I don’t have any big shoes to fill tonight. I hope I can do it justice, it’s awesome that he asked me to do it. Obviously, I’m a big fan of Luke. Excited about the opportunity and hope I can do it justice we’ll see.”

As the CMT Artists of the Year honorees looked on from the tables in the front, Green belted out the lyrics to the steamy country hit. 

“Let’s get some candles burnin’/ And some records turnin’/ All the lights down low/ Take it nice and slow/ The way your body’s movin’/ Keep doin’ what you’re doin’/ To me all night long/ Writin’ our love song/ Girl, I want it, gotta have it/ Let the passion take us to a higher place/ Makin’ the kind of love we make,” he sang. 

Riley Green; Photo by Getty Images for CMT
Riley Green; Photo by Getty Images for CMT

“The Kind Of Love We Make” recently became Combs’ 14th consecutive chart-topping single. The song is included on his latest album, Growin’ Up.  

Riley Green will soon join Combs on the road for his 2023 World Tour. The Alabama native said he was thrilled to honor his friend during the show. 

“We’ve come a long way. I’ve opened for Luke in a club in Birmingham for 400 people in 2015 and I’m going out on a stadium tour with him next year,” Green shared on the red carpet. “We’ve both come a long way and I’m super proud of him and I’m a big fan of all his music. So, it’s been cool to somebody that’s just a regular guy that came up like I did do that well.”

Watch The Performance:

The 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year celebrated the success Carly Pearce, Kane Brown, Cody Johnson, Luke Combs, and Walker Hayes have seen throughout the past year. 

Alan Jackson was honored as the CMT Artist Of A Lifetime. The prestigious honor, presented by Ram Trucks, was previously awarded to Randy Travis (2021), Reba McEntire (2019), Loretta Lynn (2018), Shania Twain (2016), Kenny Rogers (2015) and Merle Haggard (2014).

Cody Johnson, Carly Pearce, Walker Hayes, Alan Jackson, Kane Brown and Lainey Wilson; Photo by Catherine Powell/Getty Images for CMT
Cody Johnson, Carly Pearce, Walker Hayes, Alan Jackson, Kane Brown and Lainey Wilson; Photo by Catherine Powell/Getty Images for CMT

Lainey Wilson was named the 2022 CMT Breakout Artist Of The Year. Wilson is the fifth recipient of the award, following Mickey Guyton (2021), Ashley McBryde (2019), Kelsea Ballerini (2016), and Chris Stapleton (2015).

The 90-minute concert event featured performances from Jackson, Pearce, Johnson, Brown and Wilson. Hayes joined forces with Ciara for a never-before-seen performance of their “Y’all Life” remix. Riley Green also took the stage to honor Luke Combs.

A heartwarming tribute to the late Loretta Lynn, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 90, also took place during the star-studded event when her sisters, Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright, performed in her honor.  

In addition to a star-studded list of performances, the show also included presenters: Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Dustin Lynch, Rascal Flatts’ frontman Gary LeVox, Kelsea Ballerini, Yellowstone’s Kelsey Asbille, and Shane McAnally.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared remotely from his annual Dale Jr. Foundation charity event in North Carolina to present Combs with his 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year award.

The 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year premiered on Friday, October 14 at 9/8c on CMT.