Luke Combs, Kane Brown, Carly Pearce Among 2022 CMT Artists of the Year Honorees

Update [Oct. 11, 2022]: The performers and presenters for the 2022 CMT Artists of the Year were revealed on Oct. 11. This year’s performers will include artist of a lifetime honoree Alan Jackson, as well as honorees Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson, Kane Brown and breakout artist of the year Lainey Wilson. Fellow honoree Walker Hayes will team with Ciara for a world premiere collaboration, while Riley Green will take the stage to honor Luke Combs. Presenters for the evening include Chris Stapleton, Dan+Shay, Dustin Lynch, Gary LeVox, Kelsea Ballerini, Yellowstone actor Kelsey Asbille and producer/writer Shane McAnally, as well as racing champ Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who will make a remote presentation to Combs from his annual Dale Jr. Foundation charity event in North Carolina.

Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Walker Hayes, Cody Johnson and Carly Pearce are set to be honored at the upcoming CMT Artists of the Year ceremony on Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET on CMT. The event at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center will honor the five artists for reaching new career heights, from leading CMT platforms to earning hit albums and singles and bringing their concerts to massive audiences.

The 90-minute special will also welcome a cavalcade of artists — who have yet to be announced — to celebrate this year’s five honorees with special performances and collaborations. First-time honorees Hayes, Johnson and Pearce join CMT Artists of the Year veterans Brown and Combs, who have each previously been honored with the accolade twice, both in 2019 and 2021.

“We are honored to recognize the astounding achievements of this illustrious group of artists over the past year,” said CMT senior vice president of production, music & events Margaret Comeaux in a statement. “Carly, Cody, Kane, Luke and Walker all represent the vibrant future of the country music format, as they defy convention and blaze new trails, breaking industry records and genre barriers. We can’t wait to celebrate their extraordinary accomplishments alongside their fellow artists and friends.”

Over the past year, Pearce notched her third No. 1 Country Airplay single, with the Ashley McBryde collaboration “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” which was included on Pearce’s critically-acclaimed album 29: Written in Stone. The success of “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” which Pearce and McBryde wrote with Shane McAnally, marked the third duet between two solo female artists to top the Country Airplay chart since the chart’s inception in January 1990. The two previous chart-topping solo female collabs are the Elle King/Miranda Lambert hit “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” and the Reba McEntire/Linda Davis duet “Does He Love You,” which topped the Country Airplay chart in November 1993.

Johnson earned his first No. 1 on hit on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart this year, with the two-week chart-leading smash “‘Til You Can’t,” the lead single from his Human: The Double Album. The video for the song earned male video of the year at the 2022 CMT Music Awards, and Johnson led stellar performances at this year’s CMT Music Awards and Stagecoach, among other high-profile performances. The hard-charging touring act also just announced his tour plans for 2023, teaming with Randy Houser for a slate of shows beginning in January.

Brown just released his latest album, Different Man, which sits at No. 2 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart this week, and recently earned his eighth No. 1 Country Airplay hit with “Like I Love Country Music.” He also recently made history as the first male country solo artist to perform on the 2022 MTV VMAs, performing his new track “Grand.” He has also launched his Drunk or Dreaming International Tour, which will criss-cross Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe. Earlier this year, he returned to co-host the CMT Music Awards for the third time and was also the evening’s leading nominee.

Combs, the reigning CMA entertainer of the year, further progressed his skyrocketing career this year with the release of his latest album, Growin’ Up, as well as earning his 14th Country Airplay No. 1 single with “Doin’ This.” Earlier this year, he earned two CMT Music Awards nominations, in addition to a Grammy nomination for best country solo performance for “Forever After All.” He recently announced his 2023 world tour, which will visit 16 countries.

Hayes’ juggernaut hit, “Fancy Like,” brought the singer-songwriter his first Billboard No. 1 Country Airplay hit, and the song also reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song has brought Hayes a CMT Music Award nomination and his first Grammy Award nomination. He’s followed with “AA” and “Y’all Life,” and is set to launch his headlining arena tour. He also recently released the book Glad You’re Here.

Jessica Nicholson