Country music is coming together to prove once again that there is power in songs.
E! News has learned this year’s “CMT Artists of the Year” special will be transformed into a night of hope and healing.
The changes follow the devastating hurricanes and mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
Andra Day and Little Big Town will help kick off the evening with a performance of “Rise Up.” They will later join Lee Ann Womack and Common for a rendition of “Stand Up For Something.”
“Given the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the mass shootings in Las Vegas, we feel a commitment to our fans to address all of the tragedies not in one somber and solemn moment or segment, but rather devote the entire evening to uplifting the fans through high-spirited music,” said Frank Tanki, General Manager of CMT and TV Land. “Both ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Stand Up for Something’ are inspirational anthems that perfectly sum the message for the evening.”
Frank added, “The special has always been a place where artists from different genres can stand side-by-side, and now more than ever, we want to showcase the power of unity and resilience through music.”
This year’s ceremony will not include formal presentations of awards and speeches. Instead, honorees will deliver heartfelt messages directly to the fans.
Watch it all unfold when the 90-minute special airs Wednesday, October 18 at 8 p.m. on CMT.