CMT Taps Hip Hop Icon Nelly as First Rapper to Headline CMT Crossroads





CMT Taps Hip Hop Icon Nelly as First Rapper to Headline Critically-Acclaimed Music Series “CMT Crossroads”
The 60-minute special will feature new music from Heartland alongside high-energy performances of Nelly’s biggest chart topping hits, including a few surprises celebrating the 20th anniversary of hit Country Grammar.
[via press release from CMT]
CMT TAPS HIP HOP ICON NELLY AS FIRST RAPPER TO HEADLINE CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED MUSIC SERIES “CMT CROSSROADS”

Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, Blanco Brown & BRELAND join “CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends,” premiering Wednesday, September 1st at 10p/9c

NASHVILLE — (August 17, 2021) — CMT today revealed double diamond, 3XGrammy-award winning rapper Nelly will headline an upcoming installment of the iconic music series, CMT CROSSROADS. Joined by longtime friends and collaborators Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, Blanco Brown and BRELAND, “CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends” will premiere Wednesday, September 1st at 10p/9c exclusively on CMT.

A true genre-bending artist, Nelly makes his Crossroads debut as the series’ first hip hop headliner. The rap superstar first burst onto the country scene with “Over and Over,” his groundbreaking duet with Tim McGraw in 2004 which made history charting on multiple charts including the Rhythmic, Adult Top 40 and Hot Rap.

Nelly continues to bring country music influences into his unique cross-format blend of music. Later this month, he’s slated to release his new country-inspiredHeartland project, his first new album since 2013 dropping on August 27th. Nelly recently released his second single from the album, “High Horse” featuringBlanco Brown & BRELAND, plus teased a new song with “Cool Again” collaborator Kane Brown. The EP’s first single, “Lil Bit” with Florida Georgia Line was just awarded RIAA PLATINUM certification and follows their DIAMOND collaboration “Cruise” (BMLG Records).

Shared Nelly: “I’m excited to celebrate my music with my friends and fellow artists on Crossroads! When people talk about me crossing lines and genres, I think about it more that music brings folks together.”

The 60-minute “CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends” special will feature new music from Heartland alongside high-energy performances of Nelly’s biggest chart topping hits, including a few surprises celebrating the 20th anniversary of hit Country Grammar. In addition to Nelly, this marks first-time appearances from Kane Brown, Blanco Brown and BRELAND on the Crossroads stage; Florida Georgia Line returns to the legendary stage after teaming up with Backstreet Boys for a much-acclaimed episode in 2017.

“CMT Crossroads” shows the far-reaching roots of country music by pairing country artists with musicians from other genres. Each episode features a different set of stars playing together, swapping stories and sharing their common love of music. The series debuted January 13, 2002 with Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams and since has showcased dream musical partnerships including Ray Charles and Travis Tritt; Bon Jovi and Sugarland; Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire; Def Leppard and Taylor Swift; Sting and Vince Gill; John Mayer and Keith Urban; Mumford & Sons and Emmylou Harris; Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood; Stevie Nicks and Lady Antebellum; Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves; Alicia Keys and Maren Morris; Halsey and Kelsea Ballerini, and most recently, Nathaniel Rateliff and Margo Price, to name a few.

“CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux and Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin. The Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino. Leslie Fram is Executive in Charge of Talent; Shanna Strassberg is Talent Producer.

For more information, visit CMT.com, check out CMT Crossroads on Facebook & YouTube and use the hashtag #CMTcrossroads.

+++

About CMT: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.com) and social (@CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitterand YouTube). CMT is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”). For more information, please visit cmtpress.com.

About Nelly: Global Entertainer, Double Diamond Certified, Multi-platinum, 3x Grammy award-winning rap superstar, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and actor, Nelly, has continually raised the bar for the entertainment industry since stepping on the scene in 2000 with his distinctive vocals and larger-than-life personality. 2021 brings the 20th anniversary of Country Grammar and the release of new single “Lil Bit” featuring Florida Georgia Line with a country inspired Album to follow entitled, Heartland. Additionally, Nelly has secured a firm place in Americas hearts through his time on Dancing with the Stars and most recently secured a movie role in “Clear Lake” playing Chuck Berry. 2022 is the 20th anniversary of Nellyville while “Dilemma” just hit 1 billion views and “Lil Bit” just received platinum certification. Heartland drops August 27th and its second single “High Horse” debuts on Good Morning America August 6th with follow up performance on Jimmy Kimmel then Kelly Clarkson. Nelly has just begun filming Real Husbands of Hollywood and is touring the country performing his biggest hits and his new country inspired album Heartland. Nelly’s Country Grammar album and his song Cruise with FGL both achieved Diamond status in 2016. Nelly also added sports commentator to his list of accomplishments with Fox Sports which makes him one of few actors with three television shows airing at one time. In 2016, Nelly was featured in an unique opportunity to perform alongside the country’s most prestigious orchestras including St. Louis, Columbus and Pittsburgh garnering great reviews. Nelly has performed on NBC’s The Voice, The American Music Awards, ABC’s Greatest Hits and served as a judge on CW’s The Next. Just some of his its include: “Hot in Here” – “Dilemma” [feat. Kelly Rowland] “Country Grammar” “Ride Wit Me” “Just a Dream”- “Cruise” reached diamond status, “The Fix” sampling Marvin Gaye, and summer sixteens dance anthem “Millionaire” with Cash Cash and Digital Animal Farm. The music mogul has also left his mark in other aspects of the industry, introducing his hugely successful women’s clothing line, Apple Bottoms and is part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats with Michael Jordan. In 2005, he made his big screen debut in the Adam Sandler and Chris Rock hit remake, The Longest Yard and in starred in Reach Me with Sylvester Stone 2014. Currently he supports Make a Wish and is the only rapper/music artist to own his own college, EI University, which provides education surrounding the music industry while Nelly himself provides scholarships.He has been referred to by Peter Shapiro as “one of the biggest stars of the new millennium”,[3] and the RIAA ranks Nelly as the fourth best-selling rap artist in American music history,[4] with 21 million albums sold in the United States. On December 11, 2009, Billboardranked Nelly the number three Top Artist of the Decade.



CMT to Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Country Music Titan Charley Pride





CMT to Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Country Music Titan Charley Pride with “CMT Giants: Charley Pride” Premiering Wednesday, August 25th at 9P/8C
Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Dion Pride, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Allen, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton, Neal McCoy, Nolan Ryan, Reba, Reyna Roberts, Robert Randolph, Ronnie Milsap, Rozene Pride and Wynonna are among those slated to appear.
[via press release from CMT]
CMT to celebrate the life and legacy of country music titan Charley Pride with “CMT GIANTS: CHARLEY PRIDE” premiering Wednesday, August 25th at 9p/8c

Star-packed 90-minute special to feature performances and appearances by Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Dion Pride, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Allen, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton, Neal McCoy, Nolan Ryan, Reba, Reyna Roberts, Robert Randolph, Ronnie Milsap, Rozene Pride and Wynonna

NASHVILLE — (July 15) — CMT today announced “CMT GIANTS: Charley Pride,” an all-new special celebrating the extraordinary life and legacy of trailblazing country music titan Charley Pride. The star-packed, 90-minute event premieres Wednesday, August 25th at 9p/8c exclusively on CMT.

“CMT GIANTS: Charley Pride” brings together Charley’s superstar friends and some of the biggest names in music today to celebrate his most legendary hits, including Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, son Dion Pride, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Allen, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Combs featuring Robert Randolph + Reyna Roberts, Mickey Guyton and Wynonna. Special guests Neal McCoy, Nolan Ryan, Reba, Ronnie Milsap, and Charley’s wife Rozene Pride, also appear to share their personal memories and reflect on Charley’s lasting legacy, which are blended alongside rare archival photos, interviews and performances, with clips and commentary from Charley Pride himself.

“It’s an incredibly great honor to celebrate Charley Pride’s career from the perspective of those who knew him best – his friends, family and peers,” shared Margaret Comeaux, Executive Producer, CMT. “As a true ‘giant’ in country music, Charley serves as an inspiration for present and future artists, and his legendary career transcends barriers with music that stands the test of time.”

Shared Rozene Pride: “I am delighted to have so many giants in the business celebrate the legacy of Pride. He would have been so happy to see the artists give so generously of their time and talent honoring him. This truly is a testament to the impact that he had on the country music community for so many years.”

Charley Pride celebrated more than 50 years as a recording artist, enjoying one of the most successful careers in the history of country music and is credited with helping to break color barriers by becoming the first black superstar within the genre. A true living legend, he sold tens of millions of records worldwide with his large repertoire of hits. A three-time GRAMMY(R) award and Recording Academy “Lifetime Achievement Award” winner, Pride garnered no less than 36 chart-topping country hits, including “Kiss An Angel Good Morning,” a massive #1 crossover hit that sold over a million singles and helped Pride land the Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award in 1971 and the “Top Male Vocalist” awards of 1971 and 1972. A proud member of the Grand Ole Opry, Pride performed concerts worldwide and has toured the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand over the last several years. He received the Crossroads Of American Music Award At the 2019 GRAMMY Museum(R) Mississippi Gala in November of 2019, and the Country Music Association’s Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award one year later in November 2020. On December 12, 2020, Pride died at the age of 86 from complications due to COVID-19. His memory and storied legacy will live on through his vast library of stories and songs, with forthcoming plans for a final album release, public celebration of life ceremony, tribute concert, and biopic film. Full bio available here; follow Charley Pride on Facebook and at CharleyPride.com.

Launched in 2006, the CMT GIANTS franchise is CMT’s elite honor celebrating the careers of country music’s most legendary artists: Reba McEntire (2006), Hank Williams, Jr. (2007), Alan Jackson (2008) and Kenny Rogers (2020). Stars that have previously taken part in past specials include Brad Paisley, Buddy Guy, Dolly Parton, Faith Hill, Gretchen Wilson, Jennifer Nettles, Kelly Clarkson, LeAnn Rimes, Lionel Richie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Martina McBride, Megan Mullally, Michael McDonald, Rascal Flatts, Rita Wilson, Steven Tyler, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith and Trisha Yearwood, to name a few.

“CMT GIANTS: Charley Pride” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux and Taillight’s Tom Forrest.The Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino. Leslie Fram is Executive in Charge of Talent; Shanna Strassberg is Talent Producer.

For more information, visit CMT.com, follow @CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok and use the hashtag #CMTGiants.



CBS TO BROADCAST THE “CMT MUSIC AWARDS” LIVE FROM NASHVILLE, SUNDAY, APRIL 3, 2022





CBS TO BROADCAST THE “CMT MUSIC AWARDS” LIVE FROM NASHVILLE, SUNDAY, APRIL 3, 2022

CBS announced today it will present its inaugural broadcast of the CMT MUSIC AWARDS live from Nashville on Sunday, April 3, 2022 (8:00-11:00 PM, LIVE ET/delayed PT). CMT will kick off the Company’s first ever Country Music Week by hosting week-long special programming and events capped by exclusive director’s cut airings of the CMT MUSIC AWARDS later on CMT and various ViacomCBS platforms.

ViacomCBS recently announced that its signature country music tentpole would move to CBS from CMT on the heels of this year’s success. This past June, the CMT MUSIC AWARDS saw more than a 10% increase in total viewers and dominated as the #1 most social program across all of television for the night. Across the six ViacomCBS network simulcast, P18-34 ratings saw a +32% increase over last year’s event.*

Celebrated for its high-powered, world premiere and cross-genre performances, the CMT MUSIC AWARDS, country music’s only entirely fan-voted award show, have aired live since 2005, delivering Nashville’s biggest party to music fans across the globe. The 2021 show, hosted by superstars Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown, featured the most ever first-time collaborations and blended-genre pairings in show history. Standout performances included H.E.R. + Chris Stapleton, Gladys Knight, Mickey Guyton + BRELAND, and NEEDTOBREATHE + Carrie Underwood, who remains the most-awarded artist in CMT Awards history with 23 wins. More information on this year’s show is available here.

Additional information about the 2022 CMT MUSIC AWARDS on CBS will be available in the coming months.

*Source: Nielsen Early Ratings, 6/9/21, L+SD coverage ratings, total viewers=P2+. Social Content Ratings, excluding sports, 6/9/21. Owned Social: Conviva, YouTube Analytics, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snap Analytics, 5/5/21-6/10/21.



“Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” Returns for Much-Anticipated Season 16





CMT Megahit “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” Returns for Much-Anticipated Season 16 on Friday, September 17th at 9PM ET/PT
Production is currently underway in Dallas as 52 hopefuls begin training and competing in a rigorous training camp to vie for a highly-coveted spot on the most iconic professional cheerleading team in America.
[via press release from CMT]
CMT megahit “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” returns for much-anticipated Season 16 on Friday, September 17th at 9PM ET/PT

NASHVILLE — (June 30) — CMT today announced its most popular and longest-running series “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” will return for season 16 on Friday, September 17 at 9PM ET/PT on CMT. Production is currently underway in Dallas as 52 hopefuls begin training and competing in a rigorous training camp to vie for a highly-coveted spot on the most iconic professional cheerleading team in America.

The much-anticipated series will return to its original time slot this Fall, fresh off a monumental 15th season which saw an unprecedented virtual audition process, the first-ever DCC Summer Training Camp inside a “bubble,” and the most veteran cuts in show history. With more auditions and contestants than ever before, the competition is stiff and the pressure remains at an all-time high as the candidates work to perfect new technically-challenging routines to impress longtime coaches Kelli Finglass (Director of Cheerleading) and Judy Trammell (DCC Head Choreographer) to earn an esteemed spot on the field. Guest choreographers will be revealed at a later date.

“Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” is produced by Triage Entertainment with Executive Producers Stu Schreiberg, Stephen Kroopnick, Eugene Pack, Peter Zasuly, Charlotte Jones and Kelli McGonagill Finglass. Jacquelyn French and Laurie Sharpe are Executive Producers for CMT.

To get in on the conversation, use the hashtag #DCCMakingTheTeam, and follow the show’s official accounts on CMT.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.



VIACOMCBS ANNOUNCES CMT MUSIC AWARDS WILL MOVE TO CBS ON HEELS OF THIS YEAR’S SUCCESS





VIACOMCBS ANNOUNCES CMT MUSIC AWARDS WILL MOVE TO CBS ON HEELS OF THIS YEAR’S SUCCESS

Company’s Signature Country Music Tentpole to Premiere on America’s Most Watched Network and Air Globally Beginning in 2022

CMT to Kick Off its First-Ever Country Music Week Hosting Week-Long Special Programming and Events Live from Nashville Capped by Exclusive Director’s Cut Airings of the CMT Music Awards

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE) – ViacomCBS today announced that on the heels of this year’s success, the CMT MUSIC AWARDS – country music’s only entirely fan-voted award show – and its signature country music tentpole will have its global premiere exclusively on CBS starting in 2022. The annual ViacomCBS owned event will broadcast live from Nashville on CBS on date to be announced. For the 2022 event, CMT will kick off the company’s first ever Country Music Week by hosting week-long special programming and events capped by exclusive director’s cut airings of the CMT MUSIC AWARDS later on CMT and various ViacomCBS platforms.

This year, the CMT MUSIC AWARDS saw more than a 10% increase in total viewers and dominated as the #1 most social program across all of television for the night. Across the six ViacomCBS network simulcast, P18-34 ratings saw a +32% increase over last year’s event.*

Celebrated for its high-powered, world premiere and cross-genre performances, the CMT MUSIC AWARDS have aired live since 2005, delivering Nashville’s biggest party to music fans across the globe. The 2021 show, hosted by superstars Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown, featured the most ever first-time collaborations and blended-genre pairings in show history. Standout performances included H.E.R. + Chris Stapleton, Gladys Knight, Mickey Guyton + BRELAND, and NEEDTOBREATHE + Carrie Underwood, who remains the most-awarded artist in CMT Awards history with 22 wins. More information on this year’s show here.

CBS has been America’s Most Watched Network for 13 consecutive seasons and the home of big entertainment events such as THE GRAMMY AWARDS, THE TONY AWARDS, THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS and this season’s most-watched special, OPRAH WITH MEGHAN AND HARRY: A CBS PRIMETIME SPECIAL.

*Source: Nielsen Early Ratings, 6/9/21, L+SD coverage ratings, total viewers=P2+. Social Content Ratings, excluding sports, 6/9/21. Owned Social: Conviva, YouTube Analytics, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snap Analytics, 5/5/21-6/10/21.



CMT Fires Up the Summer with All-New Series “CMT Campfire Sessions”





CMT Fires Up the Summer with All-New Series “CMT Campfire Sessions” Premiering on Thursday, June 10th at 9P/8C
Inspired by the much-acclaimed CMT Digital series of the same name, the show brings together a star-studded lineup of some of music’s biggest names as they strip down their biggest hits, share new music and swap stories with friends fireside for an intimate night of music.
[via press release from CMT]
CMT FIRES UP THE SUMMER WITH ALL-NEW SERIES “CMT CAMPFIRE SESSIONS” PREMIERING ON THURSDAY, JUNE 10TH AT 9P/8C

Eight-episode series kicks off with back-to-back episodes starring The Marfa Tapes’ Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert & Jon Randall, and multi-platinum entertainer Kane Brown

Upcoming episodes from superstars Brothers Osborne, Keb’ Mo’, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady A and Trisha Yearwood

NASHVILLE, TN — (June 8, 2021) — CMT today announced its all-new weekly summer series “CMT Campfire Sessions” is set to premiere Thursday, June 10th at 9p/8c with two back-to-back, half-hour episodes, airing exclusively on CMT. Inspired by the much-acclaimed CMT Digital series of the same name, the show brings together a star-studded lineup of some of music’s biggest names as they strip down their biggest hits, share new music and swap stories with friends fireside for an intimate night of music.

“CMT Campfire Sessions” will kick off with three-times the star power as Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert & Jon Randall trade stories and songs under the stars from their newly-released project, The Marfa Tapes, including hits “Tin Man,” “Two-Step Down to Texas,” “Amazing Grace (West Texas)” and “In His Arms.” Rounding out the double-episode premiere is Kane Brown, who brings the party fireside for an off-the-cuff jam session with trio Restless Road for equal parts impromptu performance and a showcase of Brown’s biggest hits, including “Lose It,” “Worship You” and their collaboration, “Take Me Home.”

“It was an incredible feeling to have our Production team back together on-set and get to witness the magic of live music – something all of us have been desperately missing this past year,” said Margaret Comeaux, Executive Producer and Vice President, Production at CMT. “‘CMT Campfire Sessions’ is filled with performances that reignite our love of live music – from world-class troubadours Jack, Miranda and Jon sharing stories of their creative process to Kane and friends effortlessly entertaining with a laid-back,

good time vibe, fans have a front row seat to their favorite artists and amazing music.”

Every Thursday, a new artist will share intimate their campfire performances, with upcoming appearances from Brothers Osborne, Keb’ Mo’, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady A and Trisha Yearwood, plus a special one-hour “Covers” episode featuring all Campfire artists sharing a favorite cover song.

The full schedule* of “CMT Campfire Sessions” is as follows:

June 10, 9-9:30p: Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert and Jon Randall

June 10, 9:30-10p: Kane Brown

June 17, 9-9:30p: Brothers Osborne

June 24, 9-9:30p: Lady A

July 1, 9-10p: “Covers” (one-hour special)

July 8, 9-9:30p: Kelsea Ballerini

July 15, 9-9:30p: Keb’ Mo’

July 22, 9-9:30p: Trisha Yearwood

*all times are in ET

“CMT Campfire Sessions” began as a CMT Digital-led production that gave fans an inside look into the backyards of some of their favorite artists during quarantine. The success of those sessions inspired the network to officially launch a new campfire series in primetime. CMT Digital episodes of “Campfire Sessions,” featuring Cody Johnson, Granger Smith, Hailey Whitters, Jimmie Allen, Jordan Davis, Lainey Wilson, Lee Brice, Russell Dickerson, and The War and Treaty can be viewed on CMT’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Shot on location in Tennessee, “CMT Campfire Sessions” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux and Amy Lin Johnson; the Executive in Charge of Production is Heather Graffagnino. Leslie Fram is Executive in Charge of Talent and Shanna Strassberg and Jackie Jones are Talent Producers.

For more information, visit CMT.com, follow @CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok.

###

About CMT:

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.com) and social (@CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok). CMT is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”). For more information, please visit cmtpress.com.



Country Music Pioneer Linda Martell to Receive “CMT Equal Play Award”





Country Music Pioneer Linda Martell to Receive “CMT Equal Play Award” at the 2021 “CMT Music Awards” Airing Wednesday, June 9th at 8P/7C
“Linda Martell is a living legend who has influenced so many artists of color, giving them the courage and hope to pursue their dreams and a future reality of Equal Play in country music,” said Leslie Fram.
[via press release from CMT]
COUNTRY MUSIC PIONEER LINDA MARTELL TO RECEIVE “CMT EQUAL PLAY AWARD” AT THE 2021 “CMT MUSIC AWARDS” AIRING WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9TH AT 8P/7C

Mickey Guyton to present the award; Rissi Palmer, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Jennifer Nettles and Rhiannon Giddens to honor the country trailblazer

NASHVILLE, TN — (June 8, 2021) — CMT today announced that country music pioneer Linda Martell will be recognized with the “CMT Equal Play Award” during the 2021 “CMT Music Awards,” airing live Wednesday, June 9th at 8p/7c on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT Australia.

Some of the genre’s biggest names, including Mickey Guyton, Darius Rucker, Jennifer Nettles, Carrie Underwood, Rissi Palmer and Rhiannon Giddens will congratulate Martell during this year’s awards as CMT highlights her place in music history as the first Black female solo country artist to perform on the Grand Ole Opry stage, along with her other boundary-defying achievements.

In releasing three pop-country singles at the turn of the 1970s, including an unprecedented Top-20 Billboard Hot Country Charts single “Color Him Father” in 1969, Martell’s success and bittersweet subsequent country career changed the arc of country music history forever. It also provided the most profound case for supporting marginalized artists in country music and the music industry overall.

“Linda Martell is a living legend who has influenced so many artists of color, giving them the courage and hope to pursue their dreams and a future reality of Equal Play in country music,” said Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President, Music & Talent, CMT. “Linda embodies the spirit of our ‘Equal Play’ initiative and we are proud to honor her with this prestigious award.”

Artist Rissi Palmer stresses the importance of Equal Play and her gratitude to Linda: “Equal Play is imperative to the genre. It’s how we go forward and paint a broader, more complex picture of what country music is and who country music represents. Thank you, Linda, for being brave, fearless, talented and beautiful, and for putting yourself out there, even when it was difficult. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

Last year, Jennifer Nettles received the inaugural “CMT Equal Play Award” for her continued advocacy for women and diverse voices in the music industry. This year, she congratulates Martell on receiving the CMT Equal Play award: “We are keenly aware of the need for more inclusivity and representation in the country community for women and people of color, and we are eternally inspired by all that it has taken for you to share your gifts with the world and the beautiful ways that you continue to do so.”

Known for its continuing work in elevating underrepresented voices in country music, CMT’s Equal Play initiativewas originally launched in 2019 in response to the lack of female representation in country music, specifically radio and streaming services. CMT Equal Play is designed to encourage and promote measurable industry-wide action and create an ongoing path for parity and diversity. CMT has committed to incorporating Equal Play across all of its platforms, including CMT Radio, and the creation of its own music video channel on ViacomCBS’ Pluto TV, dedicated to a 50/50, female/male playlist.

Existing programs that fall within CMT’s Equal Play efforts include the highly-regarded CMT Next Women of Country (NWOC) franchise, which is celebrating its eighth year with the most diverse class of up-and-coming female artists to-date. CMT continually provides NWOC artists with promotional opportunities across its many brands and has recently expanded the program to include six nationwide tours, live events and more. In addition, CMT offers artists access to independent social impact and advocacy resources, designed to help them find and develop their voices in supporting charitable causes and highlighting opportunities for Equal Play.

The 2021 “CMT Music Awards” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson; the Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino. Leslie Fram is Executive in Charge of Talent, Shanna Strassberg and Taryn Hurd are Talent Producers.Official sponsors of the 2021 “CMT Music Awards” also include Lipton Iced Tea, Little Caesars(R), Ram Truck Brand and Verizon.

For more information, visit CMT.com, follow @CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, use hashtag #CMTawards and ‘like’ the CMT Music Awards on Facebook.

About Linda Martell*:

South Carolina native Linda Martell, now 86 years old, is arguably the most influential Black female artist in country music history. As a veteran vocalist in her mid-30s, she released three pop-country singles and signed a record deal in 1969. Her country cover of The Winstons’ hit R&B track, “Color Him Father,” achieved unprecedented levels of success for an African-American female country vocalist by reaching the top 20 of the Billboard Hot Country singles chart. She was also the first African-American female performer to grace the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. Her debut album (also entitled Color Him Father) followed in 1970.

However, unlike Charley Pride, the iconic Black male country hitmaker whose career began during the same era, Martell faced both name-calling and racism while on stage, and was shunned by the industry as a mainstream country performer. Following the lack of success for her last debut album single, 1970’s “Bad Case of the Blues,” she was shelved by her label and prohibited from finding a new label willing to release new material. She eventually returned to South Carolina to raise her family.

Recent years have seen a resurgence in interest in Martell’s career. Foremost, performer and broadcaster Rissi Palmer has entitled her Apple Music podcast Color Me Country in tribute to Martell. Moreover, alongside modern era performers Yola, Mickey Guyton, Palmer, Rhiannon Giddens and Brittney Spencer, Martell was referred to as a pioneering Black female country artist by Maren Morris when she accepted an award for Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2020 CMA Awards. In addition, Martell’s granddaughter Quia is an independent filmmaker who is currently completing a documentary about her iconic grandmother’s life.

*written by Marcus Dowling, CMT.com

About CMT:

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.com) and social (@CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube). CMT is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”). For more information, please visit cmtpress.com.



2021 “CMT Music Awards” Adds H.E.R. + Chris Stapleton and Ingrid Andress + JP Saxe





2021 “CMT Music Awards” Adds H.E.R. + Chris Stapleton and Ingrid Andress + JP Saxe in Two New World Premiere Collaborations
Hosted by superstars Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown, the 2021 “CMT Music Awards” airs Wednesday, June 9.
[via press release from CMT]
2021 “CMT MUSIC AWARDS” ADDS H.E.R. + CHRIS STAPLETON AND INGRID ANDRESS + JP SAXE IN TWO NEW WORLD PREMIERE COLLABORATIONS

Anthony Mackie, Brett Young, Busy Philipps, Carly Pearce, Dylan Scott, Gladys Knight, Iliza Shlesinger, Little Big Town, Michael Strahan, Mickey Guyton, Restless Road, Taylor Lewan, Trace Adkins and CMT hosts Cody Alan, Katie Cook and Ashley ShahAhmadi join as presenters

Country music’s only entirely fan-voted show airs Wednesday, June 9th at 8p/7c

NASHVILLE — (June 7) — CMT today revealed the final star-studded lineup of final performers and presenters for the 2021 “CMT Music Awards.” Adding to its already-stacked roster of world premiere collaborations, the show will feature H.E.R., making her first country awards show appearance, performing with Chris Stapleton; and a CMT main stage debut from Ingrid Andress, featuring a world premiere collaboration with JP Saxe. Hosted by superstars Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown, the 2021 “CMT Music Awards” airs Wednesday, June 9th at 8p/7c on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT Australia.

Show presenters include Hollywood heavyweights and some of today’s biggest stars spanning music, television, sports and entertainment including Anthony Mackie, Brett Young, Busy Philipps, Carly Pearce, Dylan Scott, Gladys Knight, Iliza Shlesinger, Little Big Town, Michael Strahan, Mickey Guyton, Restless Road, Tennessee Titans’ Taylor Lewan, Trace Adkins and CMT Hot 20 Countdown hosts Cody Alan, Katie Cook and Ashley ShahAhmadi.

As previously announced, the two-and-a-half hour event will feature can’t-miss performances including BRELAND + Mickey Guyton, Brothers Osborne + Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood + NEEDTOBREATHE, Chris Young + Kane Brown, Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini + Paul Klein from LANY, Lady A + Carly Pearce + Lindsay Ell, Lauren Alaina + Jon Pardi, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton + Gladys Knight, Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram + Jon Randall and Thomas Rhett. Blanco Brown, Dylan Scott, Hailey Whitters, Lainey Wilson, Niko Moon and Tenille Arts will perform live from the Ram Trucks Side Stage.

Country music’s only entirely fan-voted award show returns to celebrate music’s hottest stars, delivering two-and-a-half hours of nonstop performances and one-of-a-kind collaborations in and around Music City. Each winner is selected by the fans, with voting for the six “Video of the Year” finalists open now at vote.cmt.com. A full list of nominations can be found here.

The 2021 “CMT Music Awards” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson; the Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino. Leslie Fram is Executive in Charge of Talent, Shanna Strassberg and Taryn Hurd are Talent Producers.

Official sponsors of the 2021 “CMT Music Awards” include Lipton Iced Tea, Little Caesars(R), Ram Truck Brand and Verizon.

For more information, visit CMT.com, follow @CMT on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok. Use hashtag #CMTawards and ‘like’ the CMT Music Awards on Facebook.

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About CMT:

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.com) and social (@CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok). CMT is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”). For more information, please visit cmtpress.com.



2021 “CMT Music Awards” Adds More Powerhouse Performances to Its Star-Packed Roster





2021 “CMT Music Awards” Adds More Powerhouse Performances to Its Star-Packed Roster
This year’s 2021 “CMT Music Awards” will spotlight music’s biggest hitmakers and all-star nominees alongside the next generation of country superstars for even more first-time performances and never-before-seen crossover collaborations.
[via press release from CMT]
2021 “CMT MUSIC AWARDS” ADDS MORE POWERHOUSE PERFORMANCES TO ITS STAR-PACKED ROSTER

BRELAND + Mickey Guyton, Chris Young + Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini + Paul Klein from LANY, Lady A + Carly Pearce + Gabby Barrett, Lauren Alaina + Jon Pardi, Luke Bryan, NEEDTOBREATHE + Carrie Underwood, and Thomas Rhett join growing list of star-studded performers

Country music’s only entirely fan-voted show airs Wednesday, June 9th at 8p/7c

NASHVILLE — (May 26) — CMT today revealed the second round of high-powered performers set to take the stage for the 2021 “CMT Music Awards.” Hosted by superstars Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown, the show airs Wednesday, June 9th at 8:00PM ET/7:00PM CT on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network and TV Land.

Adding to its ever-growing roster of powerhouse performers, this year’s 2021 “CMT Music Awards” will spotlight music’s biggest hitmakers and all-star nominees alongside the next generation of country superstars for even more first-time performances and never-before-seen crossover collaborations. The full list of second round performers includes:

BRELAND + Mickey Guyton (“Female Video of the Year,” “Breakthrough Video of the Year,” “Video of the Year”)

Carrie Underwood (“Collaborative Video of the Year,” “Video of the Year”) + NEEDTOBREATHE

Chris Young (“Collaborative Video of the Year”) + Kane Brown (“Male Video of the Year,” “Collaborative Video of the Year,” “Video of the Year”)

Kelsea Ballerini (“Female Video of the Year,” “CMT Performance of the Year, “Video of the Year”) + Paul Klein from LANY

Lady A (“Duo/Group Video of the Year”) + Carly Pearce (“Female Video of the Year”) + Gabby Barrett (“Female Video of the Year”)

Lauren Alaina + Jon Pardi

Luke Bryan (“Male Video of the Year”)

Thomas Rhett (“Male Video of the Year”)

The newly revealed performers will join previously announced can’t-miss solo and collaborative performances from Brothers Osborne + Dierks Bentley, Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton + Gladys Knight and Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram + Jon Randall.

Country music’s only entirely fan-voted award show returns to celebrate music’s hottest stars, delivering two-and-a-half hours of nonstop performances and one-of-a-kind collaborations in and around Music City. Each winner is selected by the fans with voting now open at vote.cmt.com through Tuesday, June 1st at 3p/2c. At that time, the top six finalists will be revealed for “Video of the Year,” with voting for the night’s most sought-after prize continuing through the show on June 9. A full list of nominations can be found here.

The 2021 “CMT Music Awards” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson; the Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino.

Official sponsors of the 2021 “CMT Music Awards” include Lipton Iced Tea, Little Caesars(R), Ram Truck Brand and Verizon.

For more information, visit CMT.com, follow @CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, use hashtag #CMTawards and ‘like’ the CMT Music Awards on Facebook.



First Round of Star-Studded Performers Revealed for 2021 “CMT Music Awards”





First Round of Star-Studded Performers Revealed for 2021 “CMT Music Awards” Airing Wednesday, June 9th at 8P/7C
2021 “CMT Music Awards” nominations were unveiled last week, with female powerhouses Morris and Lambert competing for the most accolades with four nods each.
[via press release from CMT]
FIRST ROUND OF STAR-STUDDED PERFORMERS REVEALED FOR 2021 “CMT MUSIC AWARDS” AIRING WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9TH AT 8P/7C

Brothers Osborne + Dierks Bentley, Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Maren Morris + JP Saxe, Mickey Guyton + Gladys Knight and Miranda Lambert + Jack Ingram + Jon Randall set to perform

NASHVILLE, TN — (May 19) — CMT today revealed the first round of powerhouse performers set to take the stage at the 2021 “CMT Music Awards” – country music’s only fan-voted award show – airing Wednesday, June 9th at 8:00PM ET/7:00PM CT on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network and TV Land.

Known for delivering unforgettable, high-energy performances from country’s biggest hitmakers alongside one-of-a-kind collaborations both in- and out-of-genre, the first slate of performers at this year’s much-anticipated show include:

Brothers Osborne (“Duo/Group Video of the Year”) + Dierks Bentley (“Video of the Year”)

Chris Stapleton (“Male Video of the Year”)

Luke Combs (“Male Video of the Year,” “CMT Performance of the Year”)

Maren Morris (“Female Video of the Year,” “Collaborative Video of the Year,” 2x “Video of the Year”) + JP Saxe

Mickey Guyton (“Female Video of the Year,” “Breakthrough Video of the Year,” “Video of the Year”) + Gladys Knight

Miranda Lambert (“Female Video of the Year,” “Collaborative Video of the Year,” 2x “Video of the Year”) + Jack Ingram + Jon Randall

Additional performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.

2021 “CMT Music Awards” nominations were unveiled last week, with female powerhouses Morris and Lambert competing for the most accolades with four nods each. Hosts Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown join Little Big Town and Mickey Guyton with three nominations. This year, 13 artists received first-time nominations including Guyton, Dylan Scott, Hailey Whitters, HARDY, Lainey Wilson, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Niko Moon, Noah Cyrus, Parmalee, Ryan Hurd, Tyler Hubbard and Willie Jones. Carrie Underwood remains the most decorated artist in CMT history with a total of 22 wins and will compete for two trophies, nominated for her collaboration with John Legend.

Fan voting is now open at vote.cmt.com and continues until Tuesday, June 1st at 3PM ET/2PM CT. A full list of nominations is available here.

“2021 CMT Music Awards” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson; the Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino.

Official sponsors of the “2021 CMT Music Awards” include Lipton Iced Tea, Little Caesars(R), Ram Truck Brand and Verizon.

For more information, visit CMT.com, follow @CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, use hashtag #CMTawards and ‘like’ the CMT Music Awards on Facebook.

###

About CMT:

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.com) and social (@CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter andYouTube). CMT is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”). For more information, please visit cmtpress.com.