Image Courtesy CMTJason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban were honored Tuesday night as CMT Artists of the Year in a televised special broadcast live from Nashville.
Jason Aldean kicked off the CMT Artists of the Year 2014 special, singing his brand-new single, “Just Gettin’ Started,” with a little help from rocker Chris Cornell of Soundgarden on guitar and background vocals. Kenny Chesney was on hand to present his pal Jason with his Artist of the Year trophy.
During his speech, Jason sent out his thoughts and prayers to fellow Artist of the Year honoree Luke Bryan, who was unable to attend the event due to the death of his brother-in-law. Lady Antebellum stepped in to perform an acoustic version of Luke’s hit, “Drink a Beer,” with the songwriter, Chris Stapleton.
Luke tweeted after their performance, “That was amazing. Truly. Thank you Charles, Dave, Hillary and Chris! Beautiful!!! Thank you fans for your love.”
Miranda Lambert sang “Holding on to You” from her latest album, Platinum, and she even had Nicole Kidman singing along in the audience. Miranda’s friends, Ashley Monroe and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, were on hand to pay tribute to Miranda.
Florida Georgia Line delivered their latest hit, “Sun Daze,” before accepting their Artist of the Year trophy from hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa.
Keith Urban performed James Brown‘s R&B classic “It’s Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” backed up by an all-female band. Chris Cornell returned to the stage to present Keith with his trophy.
The evening closed out with Eric Church, Ashley Monroe and T-Bone Burnett performing “Workin’ Man Blues” in musical tribute to the first-ever CMT Artist of a Lifetime recipient, Merle Haggard.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio