The 2017 edition of the CMT Music Awards, airing June 7, will feature a slew of star pairings including Florida Georgia Line with The Chainsmokers, Lady Antebellum with Earth Wind & Fire, and Keith Urban with Carrie Underwood.
They join previously announced artists Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Thomas Rhett, and host Charles Esten, at Nashville’s Music City Center where Kelsea Ballerini is up against Rhett and Urban for the most nominations, including the highly coveted Video of the Year category.
While the competition is reason enough to tune in, the collaborations are sure to get people talking, much like last year’s CMA Awards where Dixie Chicks and Beyonce teamed up for the song “Daddy Issues.”
Says Margaret Comeaux, CMT Music Awards executive producer: The Chainsmokers and Florida Georgia Line are two of the hottest bands in the world right now. We’re excited for the fans to see their collective vision. We love Lady Antebellum. They are fearless. A few years ago we paired them with Zedd, which I believe was the first country/EDM crossover, and it was phenomenal. Bringing them together with Earth, Wind & Fire will be a once-in-a-lifetime moment. I know we’ll all be dancing in the control room. And what to say about Carrie and Keith…we have no doubt it be one of the best performances of the night.”
Credit another CMT show, “Crossroads,” for kicking off the crossover trend. “We really pioneered cross-genre performances and provided a fun and safe place for artists to come together to experiment,” adds Comeaux. “We’ve earned the trust and respect of the artists, labels, and managers to create something memorable.”
The 2016 edition of the CMT Music Awards drew nearly 4 million viewers across a three-network simulcast (CMT, TV Land and Nick@Nite), up 20% from the previous year. Sure to drive tune-in this year is the midseason premiere of “Nashville” on June 1 — “we’ve been very fortunate that ‘Nashville’ has delivered a whole new audience to the network,” says Comeaux — along with a slew of promos leading up to the big night.