The country superstar wowed the star-studded crowd with a performance of his eighth No. 1 hit, “Like I Love Country Music,” a tune that shouts out country legends Willie Nelson, George Jones, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and compares his love for his wife to his love for country music.
“Baby, I love you like I love country music / You get me high as Willie, girl / You get me gone as Jones / You turn me on as much as I turn on my radio / Let’s take our time, walk the line /Kinda like Johnny and June did / Yeah, let’s do this / Baby, I love you like I love country music,“ Brown sings on the chorus.
The performance also included several backup dancers, who delivered a perfectly choreographed dance routine to the chart-topping hit.
Following his performance, “Thinking ‘Bout You” singer and soon-to-be tourmate Dustin Lynch took to the stage to present Brown with his CMT Artist Of The Year trophy.
Brown returned to the stage to accept the prestigious honor.
“I just want to say, thank you CMT. This is awesome. It honestly feels so amazing just to be recognized,” Brown said.
He went on to thank his wife, Katelyn Brown, who was all smiles in the crowd. The Browns’ also celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary the same day as the show’s taping.
”I want to thank my beautiful wife. It’s our [fourth] anniversary today. I love you babe,” Brown continued. “I also want to thank my team, Martha, Ken, everybody at Sony, I love all you guys, like I said I say this every year, Lainey [Wilson] said it earlier, I just feel like Nashville is our home. We’re just one big family, and that’s what I love about country music. I feel like everybody supports each other. So I love you guys, and thank y’all so much for this. See y’all.”
What a year it's been for you, @KaneBrown! 🌟
— CMT (@CMT) October 15, 2022
The 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year celebrated the success Carly Pearce, Kane Brown, Cody Johnson, Luke Combs and Walker Hayes have seen throughout the past year.
Alan Jackson was honored as the CMT Artist Of A Lifetime. The prestigious honor, presented by Ram Trucks, was previously awarded to Randy Travis (2021), Reba McEntire (2019), Loretta Lynn (2018), Shania Twain (2016), Kenny Rogers (2015) and Merle Haggard (2014).
Lainey Wilson was named the 2022 CMT Breakout Artist Of The Year. Wilson is the fifth recipient of the award, following Mickey Guyton (2021), Ashley McBryde (2019), Kelsea Ballerini (2016), and Chris Stapleton (2015).
The 90-minute concert event featured performances from Jackson, Pearce, Johnson, Brown and Wilson. Hayes joined forces with Ciara for a never-before-seen performance of their “Y’all Life” remix. Riley Green also took the stage to honor Luke Combs.
A heartwarming tribute to the late Loretta Lynn, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 90, also took place during the star-studded event when her sisters, Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright, performed in her honor.
In addition to a star-studded list of performances, the show also included presenters: Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Dustin Lynch, Rascal Flatts’ frontman Gary LeVox, Kelsea Ballerini, Yellowstone’s Kelsey Asbille, and Shane McAnally.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared remotely from his annual Dale Jr. Foundation charity event in North Carolina to present Combs with his 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year award.
The 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year premiered on Friday, October 14 at 9/8c on CMT.