NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) – A trio of new hosts are guiding fans through a fresh take on this year’s CMT Music Awards, which replaced audiences in the live arena with performances in scenic outdoor locations around Nashville, Tennessee.
Country singers Kane Brown and Ashley McBryde join “Modern Family” actor Sarah Hyland as co-hosts on Wednesday night’s show, which airs on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network, Pop and TV Land.
Finalists for the Best Award Video of the Year were limited to Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert and Tanya Tucker, who is also nominated for the first time.
Performers include Dan + Shay, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris, Morgan Wallen, Sam Hunt and Shania Twain. Also known for cross-genre collaborations, the show includes special performances with Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus, Combs with Brooks and Dunn, and Ballerini with Halsey. Some of the first nominees this year are Halsey, Blanco Brown, Gwen Stefani, Marshmello and The Highwomen.
The fan-chosen awards show, normally held over the summer but delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, features a new category, Quarantine Video of the Year, highlighting country artists who got creative with music videos and songs during the pandemic. Some of the nominees include Brad Paisley’s’ No I in Beer ‘, in which Paisley surprises people during video calls, Combs’ social distance themed song’ Six Feet Apart ‘and Dolly Parton’s nostalgic’ When Life is Good Again ‘.
Also new this year is the CMT Equal Play Award, which is presented to singer, actor and activist Jennifer Nettles for her work advocating for women and diversity in country music.