SAM HUNT TO RECEIVE CMT'S INAUGURAL "SONG OF THE YEAR" AWARD AT "2017 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR" SPECIAL
YEAR-END CELEBRATION PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 AT 8PM ET/PT LIVE FROM NASHVILLE AND WILL ALSO HONOR THOSE AFFECTED BY HURRICANE HARVEY AND HURRICANE IRMA
NASHVILLE - September 14, 2017 - CMT today announced that country superstar Sam Hunt, along with co-writers Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, will be honored with the first-ever "Song of the Year" Award for mega-hit "Body Like A Back Road" at "2017 CMT Artists of the Year," the year-end music celebration event premiering Wednesday, October 18 at 8pm ET/PT live from Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
CMT will honor Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" after it shattered records for the most consecutive weeks on top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the longest No. 1 streak in history by a solo artist. "Body Like A Back Road" is the No. 1 most-downloaded country song of 2017 with 1.6M tracks sold, holding the weekly No. 1 download slot for 31 non-consecutive weeks and the song is the No. 1 most-streamed country song of 2017 with over 325M streams. This is the 31st consecutive week atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and it spent 16 weeks in the Top 5 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.
"Body Like a Backroad is the clear choice for this inaugural award," said Frank Tanki, General Manager of CMT and TV Land. "It's a cross-genre smash that's bound to become one of Sam Hunt's signature songs in a growing list of chart-toppers.
The "Artists of the Year" honorees include 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 album and singles, and selling out arenas across the country.
The 90-minute special will also extend beyond music to honor the unwavering spirit of those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and champion the many volunteers contributing to the ongoing rescue and recovery efforts. In addition, throughout the event, country's biggest stars will encourage fans to continue supporting the extensive recovery over the next year.
Last year's annual event honoring Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Shania Twain and Thomas Rhett fueled growth across the board with L+3 ratings climbing +21% from last year's telecast among A18-49, attracting nearly 2 million total viewers on premiere night and nearly 4 million total viewers throughout six telecasts throughout the weekend on CMT. In fact, this year's telecast marked the highest rated "Artists of the Year" special ever with M18-49. Socially, the special ranked as the #2 show of the night and #7 for the week among Nielsen's Social Content Ratings.
Previous "CMT Artist of the Year" performances have included Adele and Darius Rucker performing Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now," Meghan Trainor, Jill Scott and Kelsea Ballerini honoring Shania Twain with a medley of her biggest hits, Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis paying tribute to Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," and Maroon 5 covering Taylor Swift's "Mine." The show has featured appearances by Ellen DeGeneres, Matthew McConaughey, Selena Gomez, Billy Bob Thornton, Roger Clemens, Morgan Freeman, the cast of Nashville and more.
Former "CMT Artists of the Year" honorees include Kenny Chesney (2011, 2012), Eric Church (2012), Hunter Hayes (2013), Toby Keith (2012), Lady Antebellum (2010, 2011), Little Big Town (2015), Miranda Lambert (2012, 2014), Tim McGraw (2013), Brad Paisley (2011), Thomas Rhett (2016), Blake Shelton (2015), Taylor Swift (2010, 2011), Sam Hunt (2015), Carrie Underwood (2010, 2012, 2016), Thomas Rhett (2016) and Zac Brown Band (2010).
CMT is the leading authority on country music and lifestyle, offering a mix of original series, music events and specials. CMT is everywhere its fans are including two cable channels (CMT and the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music), radio (CMT Radio), digital (CMT App, CMT.com) and social (CMT on Facebook, CMT on Instagram and CMT on Twitter). CMT is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB). For more information, please visit CMT Press.