FloridaGeorgiaLineLast night in Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the 2017 CMT Artists of the Year. This year’s special did away with the formal presentations of awards and speeches in favor airing heartfelt messages from the honorees directly to their fans. The special included messages of hope and support for fans directly from country superstar Blake Shelton, Grand Ole Opry member Chris Young, Grammy-winner and legend Dolly Parton and ACM-winner Kelsea Ballerini.

The honorees included Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan as the five artists who collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping albums and singles, and selling out arenas across the country. In addition, Sam Hunt, along with co-writers Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, wer honored with the first-ever “Song of the Year” Award for mega-hit “Body Like A Back Road.”

Performers were Backstreet Boys, Andra Day, Common, Lee Ann Womack Phillip Phillips and Little Big Town.

Presenters included Grammy-winner Amy Grant, nationally syndicated on-air personality and New York Times best-selling author Bobby Bones, CMA-winners Brothers Osborne, Grammy-winner Lionel Richie, CMT Artist of the Year Luke Bryan and Grammy-winner Vince Gill.