CMT Artists of the Year: Randy Travis, Mickey Guyton and more country artists honored

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The annual CMT Artists of the Year show returned to Nashville on Wednesday.

The live broadcast celebrated seven distinct artists in country music. Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Luke Combs, Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown were recognized for their banner years in the genre.

Mickey Guyton — the most prominent Black female artist on the country landscape — was named breakout artist of the year, while Country Music Hall of Famer Randy Travis was given the rare artist of a lifetime award.

All the artists honored during the 2021 Artists of the Year awards have collectively won 130 awards and been streamed more than 25 billion times during their country music careers, according to a press release from the show.

Mickey Guyton accepts the CMT Breakout Artist of the Year award during ceremony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.
Mickey Guyton accepts the CMT Breakout Artist of the Year award during ceremony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

After Misty Copeland introduced Guyton during Wednesday night's awards show, the breakout artist of the year and British country-soul phenom ​​​​​Yola performed a rendition of Guyton's "Remember Her Name," the title track of her debut studio album which was released in September.

"Country music is really everyone's music," Guyton said.

More: For nearly a century, these Black artists have shaped country music

Ballerini, Barrett, Brown, and Combs also performed during Wednesday's broadcast. Combs opened the show with his hit ballad "Forever After All." Brown, who was introduced by rapper Nelly, sang "Three Wooden Crosses" in honor of Travis. Ballerini shared the stage with the Jonas Brothers, her recent tourmates, as they sang "With A Little Help From My Friends."

Chris Stapleton accepts the CMT Artist of the Year award during ceremony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.
Chris Stapleton accepts the CMT Artist of the Year award during ceremony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

At Stapleton's request, '90s R&B greats Boyz II Men came to the show along with Pentatonix singer Kevin Olusola to perform Stapleton's breakup belter "Cold."

Walker Hayes closed the show with his inescapable TikTok smash "Fancy Like."

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: CMT Artists of the Year: Randy Travis, Mickey Guyton, more honored