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Highlights of CMT's 2022 Artists Of The Year Ceremony

Last Wednesday, CMT celebrated this year's Artists Of The Year (Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, and Walker Hayes) as well as the Breakout Artist Of The Year (Lainey Wilson) and Artist Of A Lifetime (Alan Jackson). During the star-studded ceremony, the honorees received their awards and several country icons delivered fantastic performances. In case you missed CMT's broadcast, here's a quick recap of the memorable night!

Martina McBride kicked off the show by commemorating Loretta Lynn. “Tonight, we honor her in every performance and every moment of this show,” she said of the late titan.

Next, Walker Hayes joined forces with hip-hop icon Ciara for an energetic world premiere performance of "Y'all Life." Superstar Kelsea Ballerini and legendary songwriter Shane McAnally presented him with his Artist Of The Year award.

Speaking of Kelsea Ballerini, let's take a moment to appreciate her stunning yellow dress, which perfectly fits the aesthetic of her newest album SUBJECT TO CHANGE. She shared several cute moments with her close friend and collaborator Carly Pearce, and was helped up the stairs by fellow presenter Gary Levox.

After Luke Combs accepted his trophy from NASCAR's Dale Earnheart, Jr. over Zoom, Riley Green covered the honoree's hit "The Kind Of Love We Make."

None other than Carly Pearce received the night's first standing ovation, following her moving performance of "29." We're so proud of her, and honestly, we can't think of anyone who deserves it more. As Gary Levox presented her with her award, she accurately proclaimed, "Divorce has never looked so good!"

Lainey Wilson was introduced by Yellowstone co-star Kelsey Asbille, and continued the night with another emotional performance. Wilson sang "Heart Like A Truck," a single off of the upcoming Bell Bottom Country, which describes her perseverance and headstrong mindset that helped her rise to stardom. She dedicated her Breakout Artist Of The Year award to her father, Brian Wilson, stating that she was "just getting started."

Kane Brown accepted his Artist Of The Year trophy for the third year in a row; his friend and tour opener Dustin Lynch presented it to him. The star then performed his hit "Like I Love Country Music."

He dedicated the honor to his angelic wife and "Thank God" collaborator, Katelyn Brown, whom he also made a red carpet appearance with. He also made sure to shout out their fourth wedding anniversary!

Tanya Tucker paid tribute to her late friend Loretta Lynn, calling her a "hero" before introducing a surprise performance in her memory. Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright touched everyone's hearts with their rendition of one of Lynn's biggest hits, the timeless "Coal Miner's Daughter."

First-time honoree Cody Johnson performed the personal title track of his newest album, Human. He then received his award from superstar duo Dan + Shay, proclaiming "I believe in country music!"

Lastly, "Tennessee Whiskey" hitmaker Chris Stapleton presented Alan Jackson with the prestigious Artist Of A Lifetime honor, noting that "every chance to see [Jackson] play live is a gift." When accepting the trophy, Jackson half-jokingly stated that he's made more music videos than anyone else, and he wasn't wrong! Closing the night, he brought the house down with an outstanding performance of his hit "Chattahoochee."

At the 2022 Artists Of The Year ceremony, several of country music's greatest forces came together to celebrate the genre's biggest stars. Overall, CMT put on a spectacular night that included many unforgettable moments.

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