Grammy-winning pop star Meghan Trainor, R&B vocalist Jill Scott and Swedish songstress Zara Larsson are among the performers paying tribute to honorees at the 2016 CMT Artists of the Year.
Trainor’s country-music connections include co-writing Lauren Alaina’s “Road Less Traveled” with the singer and appearing on the CMA Awards to perform her own “All About That Bass” with Miranda Lambert in 2014. During CMT’s annual gala, she will join Scott and Kelsea Ballerini – herself the recipient of the Breakout Award – in performing in honor of Shania Twain, the Artist of a Lifetime recipient. Larsson, meanwhile, will sing with honoree Thomas Rhett on a mashup of his CMA Award-nominated “Die a Happy Man” and her “Never Forget You.”
Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild has also been announced as a performer, teaming up with Artist of the Year Luke Bryan. Little Big Town will present Bryan with his award during the 90-minute special, airing from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Olympic gold-medal gymnasts Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian and talk-show host Arsenio Hall are slated to present.
CMT Artists of the Year celebrates five country hitmakers selected by the network: Carrie Underwood (her third time being honored), Chris Stapleton (last year’s Breakout Award recipient), Florida Georgia Line (their fourth consecutive year as honorees), Luke Bryan (tied with Jason Aldean as a five-time recipient) and first-time honoree Thomas Rhett.
CMT Artists of the Year airs Thursday, October 20th, at 9:00 p.m. ET on CMT.