Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs are the other honorees.
Gabby Barrett, Chris Stapleton, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs have been named 2021 CMT artists of the year, the country music network announced on Thursday (Sept. 16). They will be honored during the live event on Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CST from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.
The five chosen artists “collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, leading across all CMT platforms, scoring chart-topping albums and singles, while simultaneously finding creative ways to connect with fans and meet the personal and professional challenges posed by the pandemic,” CMT said in a statement.
Morgan Wallen is conspicuous by his absence from CMT's list, even though his Dangerous: The Double Album has topped Billboard's Top Country Albums chart for 32 weeks. Wallen has been under a cloud since a tape of him using a racial slur was posted on TMZ in February.