In Nashville, Tennessee last night (October 13), CMT honored a number of excellent country music performers as part of the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year show, from Chris Stapleton to Kane Brown. But perhaps one stood out most of all: Luke Combs, who kicked off the event.
The tall, bearded No. 1 hit single maker, strummed an acoustic guitar and belted out his popular song, “Forever After All,” for an audience of country music fans in Music City as one of the Artist of the Year honorees.
The Combs’ song, which hit No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Hot Country charts, was originally released in 2020 on the deluxe edition of the artist’s second studio album, What You See Is What You Get. Watch the performance below.
“Man, it’s pretty wild,” said Combs in an interview at the CMT event. “I feel like everybody here’s way cooler than me, you know what I mean? So, it’s kind of weird, I guess. These things are always kind of surreal to me. I never would have imagined anything like this. So, I try and just take it a day at a time and be as thankful as I can.”
“Being here is incredible. There’s [only] five people that get to be artists of the year every year,” he added.
Earlier this year, at the annual CMT Awards in June, Combs performed his song, “Cold As You.” Combs won Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year at the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards. He also won Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards the same year.
Performers during the night included Boys II Men, along with the other honorees. Presenters included Garth Brooks, Cody Alan, and Eric Church.
Others celebrated last night include Artist of the Year honorees Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, and Kelsea Ballerini. Mickey Guyton was honored as a Breakout Artist of the Year and Randy Travis as Artist of a Lifetime. The annual event, which returned to a live in-person setting for the first time since 2019, was held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.
Photo courtesy of CMT Communications