American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips has been added to tonight’s CMT Artists of the Year. He’ll be joining The Voice coach Blake Shelton and American Idol judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, who are also participating in the event. Honoring fellow Georgian Sam Hunt, Phillip will cover his hit song “Body Like a Back Road.” FYI: Luke Bryan is from Leesburg. A Georgia reunion, indeed.
From CMT’s official press release:
Pop icons Backstreet Boys and fan-favorite singer/songwriter Phillip Phillips& have been added to the performance roster for this year’s CMT Artists of the Year special airing live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Wednesday, October 18 at 8 PM ET/PT. The evening will feature performances from the honorees, as well as Andra Day, Common, Lee Ann Womack and Little Big Town, who will set the tone for the evening with an opening performance of the anthemic “Rise Up,” and “Stand Up For Something.”
Fresh off their “CMT Crossroads,” Backstreet Boys will celebrate their good friends and “2017 CMT Artists of the Year” honorees Florida Georgia Line, while American Idol-winner Phillip Phillips will toast inaugural “Song of the Year” Award-winner “Body Like A Back Road” by Sam Hunt.
The special includes messages of hope and support for fans directly from country superstar Blake Shelton, Grand Ole Opry member Chris Young, Grammy-winner and legend Dolly Partonand ACM-winner Kelsea Ballerini.
Presenters will include Grammy-winner Amy Grant, nationally syndicated on-air personality and New York Times best-selling author Bobby Bones, CMA-winners Brothers Osborne, Grammy-winner Lionel Richie, CMT Artist of the Year Luke Bryan and Grammy-winner Vince Gill.
The 2017 “Artists of the Year” honorees include Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan as the five artists who collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping albums and singles, and selling out arenas across the country. In addition, Sam Hunt, along with co-writers Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, will be honored with the first-ever “Song of the Year” Award for mega-hit “Body Like A Back Road.”
This year’s special will forgo the formal presentations of awards and speeches in favor of heartfelt messages from the honorees directly to their fans. The special will unite artists from all genres and feature a mix of never-before-seen collaborations and performances from the honorees.