Meghan Trainor, Jill Scott, pop star Zara Larsson and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild have joined the lineup of performers set to pay tribute to the 2016 CMT Artists of the Year honorees when the special premieres Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. After taking the world by storm at the 2016 Olympic Games, gold medalist gymnasts Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian will join talk show host and comedy star Arsenio Hall and Little Big Town as presenters. Taped live at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the 90-minute special will feature once-in-a-lifetime performances, tributes and unforgettable toasts as some of the biggest stars of music, film and television gather to celebrate the five artists selected by CMT as the top artists of the year: Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett. These artists collectively dominated the last 12 months ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping album and singles and selling out arenas throughout the nation. Additionally, CMT will honor rising star Kelsea Ballerini with the second annual Artists of the Year Breakout Award. Trainor will lend her girl power prowess alongside powerhouse vocalist Jill Scott and Ballerini in paying tribute to the one and only Shania Twain, who will be honored with the third annual Artist of a Lifetime award. Swedish rising sensation Zara Larsson will join honoree Thomas Rhett in a mashup of his CMA song of the year, “Die a Happy Man,” and Larsson’s Billboard Hot 100 smash, “Never Forget You.” Karen Fairchild will join honoree Luke Bryan for a performance of their No. 1 duet “Home Alone Tonight.” Additional performers, presenters and special guests for this year’s event will be announced at a later date.
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