CMT revealed the news on Wednesday morning. The press release states, “These five ‘Artists of the Year’ collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, leading across all CMT platforms, scoring chart-topping albums and singles, and performing music that entertains and inspires millions of fans.”
Kane Brown and Luke Combs will each be honored for the third time (2019, 2021 & 2022), while Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson, and Walker Hayes will be recognized for the first time.
“We are honored to recognize the astounding achievements of this illustrious group of artists over the past year. Carly, Cody, Kane, Luke and Walker all represent the vibrant future of the country music format, as they defy convention and blaze new trails, breaking industry records and genre barriers, Margaret Comeaux, CMT’s Senior Vice President of Production, Music & Events, shared. “We can’t wait to celebrate their extraordinary accomplishments alongside their fellow artists and friends.”
It’s been a whirlwind year for Carly Pearce, celebrating her third No. 1 single, continuing the success of acclaimed album 29: Written In Stone and adding multiple trophies to her growing collection. She also secured her third No. 1 hit with “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” an award-winning song recorded with fellow star Ashley McBryde. This marked only the second time in nearly 30 years that a female duet has reached the top of the charts. She spent the summer wowing audiences on Kenny Chesney’s stadium tour and is continuing her reign with current single “What He Didn’t Do.”
Cody Johnson had a remarkable year, driven largely by his two-week No. 1 hit “Til You Can’t,” the lead single from his widely praised Human The Double Album. To date, the song has garnered more than 400 million streams worldwide, and earned ‘Male Video of the Year’ at the 2022 CMT MUSIC AWARDS. He also received CMT Digital-First Performance of the Year for “Dear Rodeo” from CMT Campfire Sessions, and released a documentary of the same name. Johnson is nearing the milestone of 4 billion all-time streams globally and is on a nationwide headlining tour.
Kane Brown’s scope of influence continued growing at breakneck pace during the past year. He notched his seventh and eighth No. 1s with “Like I Love Country Music” and “One Mississippi,” both from his just-released highly-anticipated album, Different Man. Brown recently made history as the first-ever male country solo artist to perform on the 2022 MTV VMAs with new single “Grand.” His Drunk or Dreaming International Tour will take him to fans in Australia and New Zealand for the first time, and mark his return to Canada and Europe. Brown has garnered nearly 12 billion career streams to date. In 2022, he returned to co-host the CMT MUSIC AWARDS for the third time and was the show’s top nominee.
Luke Combs continued his runaway success in 2022. He is the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, released his latest album Growin’ Up and tallied his 13th No. 1 single “Doin’ This.” He scored two nominations at the CMT MUSIC AWARDS, as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance for “Forever After All.” Now his current single “The Kind of Love We Make” is at the top of the charts. Combs is following his sold-out Middle of Somewhere tour with an upcoming massive stadium World Tour, spanning 16 countries.
The monumental breakthrough of Walker Hayes’ hit “Fancy Like” turned the star into a household name. The song topped every country music sales and streaming chart, hit No. 1 at country radio, earned a CMT MUSIC AWARD nomination, and his first Grammy Award nomination. That track, as well as follow-up single, “AA,” and new song “Y’all Life,” have made Hayes one of the top artists in the genre. He will soon embark on his headlining arena tour, Glad You’re Here, named for his recently released book, as he continues captivating fans on TikTok and Instagram.
The 2022 CMT Artists of the Year celebration will feature some of music’s biggest stars who will take the stage at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center in honor of Pearce, Johnson, Brown, Combs, and Hayes. The special will feature never-before-seen performances and collaborations, and congratulatory moments
Musical pairings, special guests, additional honorees, performers, and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.
The 2022 CMT Artists of the Year will premiere on Friday, October 14 at 9/8c.