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First Look: Carrie Underwood, Zara Larsson, Kelsea Ballerini, More Perform At CMT Artists Of The Year

Carrie Underwood [Photo via CMT]

CMT celebrated its 2016 “Artists Of The Year” with a star-studded ceremony.

Held at the Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the event honored seven superstar country acts.

Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett were named Artists Of The Year. Rising superstar Kelsea Ballerini received the Breakout Award, while the iconic Shania Twain was named “Artist Of A Lifetime.”

Not simply a trophy distribution ceremony, the event also included numerous musical performances.

Underwood, Stapleton, and Florida Georgia Line took the stage on their own. Rhett joined pop star Zara Larsson for a mash-up of his “Die A Happy Man” and her “Never Forget You.” Bryan and Karen Fairchild performed their duet “Home Alone Tonight.” Ballerini, meanwhile, joined Meghan Trainor and Jill Scott to pay tribute to Shania Twain.

Celebrities in attendance included “Nashville” star Charles Esten and US Olympic Gymnasts Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian.

CMT’s broadcast of the ceremony airs at 9PM ET/PT on October 20. In advance of the broadcast, CMT shared press photos from the event:

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Gymnast Aly Raisman, Carrie Underwood and Madison Kocian arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Gymnast Aly Raisman, Carrie Underwood and Madison Kocian arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Honoree Carrie Underwood arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Honoree Carrie Underwood arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  (L-R) Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey, Carrie Underwood and Lorie McKnna perform on stage at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: (L-R) Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey, Carrie Underwood and Lorie McKnna perform on stage at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Honoree Carrie Underwood arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Honoree Carrie Underwood arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Actor Charles Esten arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Actor Charles Esten arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton recieves an award on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton recieves an award on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton performs on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton performs on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line recieve an award from Charles Esten on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line recieve an award from Charles Esten on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Brian Kelley (L) and Tyler Hubbard (R) of Florida Georgia Line perform on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Brian Kelley (L) and Tyler Hubbard (R) of Florida Georgia Line perform on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Brian Kelley (L) and Tyler Hubbard (R) of Florida Georgia Line arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Brian Kelley (L) and Tyler Hubbard (R) of Florida Georgia Line arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriterJill Scott arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriterJill Scott arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini performs on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini performs on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriter Luke Bryan (L) and Karen Fairchild (R) of Little Big Town perform on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Luke Bryan (L) and Karen Fairchild (R) of Little Big Town perform on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriters Kelsea Ballerini (L) and Luke Bryan (R) arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriters Kelsea Ballerini (L) and Luke Bryan (R) arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriter Luke Bryan (L) and Shania Twain (R) arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Luke Bryan (L) and Shania Twain (R) arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Luke Bryan arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Luke Bryan arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Gymnasts Madison Kocian (L) and Aly Raisman (R) arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Gymnasts Madison Kocian (L) and Aly Raisman (R) arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer Maggie Rose arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer Maggie Rose arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriters Shania Twain (L) and Meghan Trainor (R) pose for photos during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriters Shania Twain (L) and Meghan Trainor (R) pose for photos during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriter Shania Twain arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Shania Twain arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton (L) and Morgane Stapleton (R) arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton (L) and Morgane Stapleton (R) arrive on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Honoree Thomas Rhett recieves an award on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Honoree Thomas Rhett recieves an award on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer-songwriters Thomas Rhett (L) and Zara Larsson (R) perform on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer-songwriters Thomas Rhett (L) and Zara Larsson (R) perform on stage during CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Honoree Thomas Rhett arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Honoree Thomas Rhett arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19:  Singer Zara Larsson arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 19: Singer Zara Larsson arrives on the red carpet at CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]headlineplanet.com.

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