It's undoubtedly been a game-changer of a year in the world of country music! In an industry filled with this much talent, difficult choices must be made when award season rolls around. While there are definitely multiple artists eligible to take home the ever-coveted award of "Artist of the Year," in the end there can only be one winner in each category.
Country newcomer Kelsea Ballerini will be taking home a well-deserved "Breakout Artist of the Year" following her record breaking achievement of the first female country artist to send three singles off her debut album, The First Time, to No.1.
"Honestly, being the first woman to do this just inspires me to work hard and to make the best music I can," the 23-year-old recording artist told Billboard.
Ballerini's fellow female country artist, Carrie Underwood, holds strong to her title as the winningest country star at the award show returning to the the ceremony to take home her 14th and 15th CMT Music Awards for smash hit "Smoke Break."
This will be the fifth consecutive win for country superstar Luke Bryan with wins dating back to 2012. Bryan was forced to be a no show at the 2014 ceremony after the sudden death of his brother-in-law. In a show of support to Bryan, Stapleton stepped up alongside Lady Antebellum to offer up their condolences with a meaningful performance of his hit "Drink a Beer."
"It's certainly been on my mind today," Bryan told ET at the 2015 celebration the following year. "It's kinda that time of year, but I take from that night just how supportive country music artists are and the family."
The performance-laden and champagne-filled night will take place Oct. 20 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.
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