Among the performers being set for Wednesday’s “CMT Artists of the Year” telecast, “This Is Us” actress Chrissy Metz has been slated to perform a salute to one of the annual honorees, Luke Combs. Sam Hunt and Lady Antebellum will each do the same for an artist who’s getting a lifetime achievement award, Reba McEntire.
Metz is not a complete newcomer to prime-time awards show performances or even country awards telecasts: The actress sang with Carrie Underwood on this year’s ACM Awards show in April, as they did a duet on “I’m Standing With You,” a song Metz recorded for the soundtrack of her drama “Breakthrough.”
The 90-minute show has also set performances by a good number of the honorees themselves: Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett and Ashley McBryde, the last of whom has been named Breakout Artist of the Year. Underwood won’t be at the ceremony in Nashville but will live-stream a performance from her “Cry Pretty” tour stop in Cleveland.
Underwood is being honored as one of the channel’s Artists of the Year for the fifth time, and Rhett is having his second turn, but otherwise the emphasis is on relative newcomers, with Combs, Brown and Dan + Shay all being named for the first time.
Another “This Is Us” personality, Lonnie Chavis, is on board as a presenter, as are Johnny Galecki, TV/radio personality Bobby Bones and hit duo Maddie & Tae. Vince Gill will present McEntire her lifetime honor. Rhett will receive his award from his wife, Lauren Akins.
“CMT Artists of the Year” airs live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.