Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood were named the 2012 CMT Artists of the Year, during a CMT special which aired on Sunday (Dec. 9). Rascal Flatts, who co-hosted the evening with Nashville actress-singer Hayden Panettiere, kicked off the evening’s festivities with a performance of “Hot in Here” from their album Changed.
Prior to singing his hit “Beers Ago,” Keith received congratulations from comedian Rodney Carrington and Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson. His trophy was presented by baseball great Roger Clemens.
Lambert received praise from Chris Young and country music legend Merle Haggard before performing her hit “Over You.” Sheryl Crow did the honors.
Church offered his hit “Homeboy” and received a video greeting from Metallica’s James Hetfield, and the award from Kid Rock.
Chesney, a second-time honoree, enjoyed a video message from actor Morgan Freeman. Later, Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves, who will both tour with Chesney in 2013, performed Chesney’s hit “Come Over.” Sammy Hagar handed Chesney his trophy.
Another second-time winner Underwood did her latest single “Two Black Cadillacs.” Current tourmate Hunter Hayes and Today show co-host Hoda Kotb congratulated the singer on her award, which was presented by her hubby Mike Fisher.
Bryan received praise for his honor from Lady Antebellum and Thompson Square, before launching into a mash-up of his hit “Drunk On You” and OneRepublic’s “Feel Again” with the band’s frontman, Ryan Tedder. Kenny Rogers presented Bryan’s honor.
Aldean was honored by rapper Ludacris and Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson. Aldean then closed the evening with a performance of his hit, “Take a Little Ride.” The third-time winner and Georgia native received his trophy from the Atlanta Braves’ Chipper Jones.
The 2012 CMT Artists of the Year is set to re-air on Tuesday (Dec. 11) at 12 a.m. ET.
Meanwhile, The Big and Best of 2012: A Year End Celebration Presented by TMobile is set to air on CMT, CMT.com, MTV.com, VH1.com and ComedyCentral.com in an eight hour stream on Wednesday (Dec. 12), beginning at 12 p.m. ET. The event will be hosted by CMT’s Kourtney Hansen, MTV News’ Sway Calloway and VH1’s Carrie Keagan, and will broadcast live from MTV’s Times Square studio and on location in New York City, Boston and Nashville. The live event will include CMT’s Live in Nashville with Thompson Square, Concrete Country with First Aid Kit, Live @ CMT with Grace Potter and a live performance by Dustin Lynch from New York. On Friday (Dec. 15), Kid Rock will debut his video “Happy New Year” during the CMT Top 20 Countdown, airing at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Follow the event via Twitter on @CMT and @TMobile for #BigandBest2012.
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About the AuthorJessica Nicholson is a staff writer with MusicRow Enterprises. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine, TasteofCountry.com and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]
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