CMT Awards to feature stars from all genres and Hollywood


Mesfin Fekadu - AP Music Writer



The 2017 CMT Music Awards will honor the top acts in country music as well as lend its stage to pop, rock and R&B performers and Hollywood stars.

Ashton Kutcher, Jada Pinkett Smith and Katherine Heigl will be among the presenters at the awards show Wednesday night in Nashville, Tennesssee, where performers will include Earth, Wind & Fire, Peter Frampton and the Chainsmokers, who pre-taped their set with Florida Georgia Line on Tuesday night.

The EDM duo and the country duo sang together on a song called “Last Day Alive,” off the Chainsmokers’ album “Memories … Do Not Open,” which came out earlier this year.

“It was a fun challenge,” Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard said Tuesday of working with the Chainsmokers. “We pushed ourselves. There’s a lot of different aspects of this song that we haven’t done before, like different harmonies. We love these guys and we love what they are doing.”

Keith Urban, nominated for four awards, is the leading nominee at the fan-voted show airing live on CMT at 8 p.m. Eastern. His clip for the slow groove “Blue Ain’t Your Color” is nominated for the night’s biggest award — video of the year — along with music videos by Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line and Cole Swindell. The seventh nominee is “Forever Country,” the medley song and video celebrating the Country Music Association Awards’ 50th anniversary featuring Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and others.

Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town, Brett Eldredge, Underwood and Urban are set to perform. Bryan will sing with Jason Derulo, while Earth, Wind & Fire will join Lady Antebellum and Frampton will perform with Brothers Osborne.

Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, Charles Kelley of Lady A and Derek Trucks will pay tribute to southern rocker Gregg Allman, who died last month at age 69.

Underwood, who has won video of the year six times, is also nominated for collaboration of the year (“The Fighter” with Urban) and female video of the year (“Church Bells”). Her competition in the latter category includes Lambert, Maren Morris, Reba McEntire, Lauren Alaina and Kelsea Ballerini.

Nominees for male video of the year include Shelton, Aldean, Urban, Bryan, Rhett and Eric Church.

The CMT Music Awards will be hosted by “Nashville” actor Charles Esten. Presenters include Kid Rock, Johnny Galecki, Rachel Bilson and Josh Henderson. Rising acts will perform on the Firestone Stage, including Alaina, Brett Young, Chris Lane, Jon Pardi and Midland.

Mesfin Fekadu

AP Music Writer