“NASHVILLE” STAR CHARLES ESTEN TO HOST “2017 CMT MUSIC AWARDS”

05/01/17

BLAKE SHELTON, BRETT ELDREDGE, LUKE BRYAN, MIRANDA LAMBERT AND THOMAS RHETT TO PERFORM LIVE FROM NASHVILLE ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7 AT 8:00 PM ET/PT

NASHVILLE – May 1, 2017 – Deacon Claybourne is taking the reins of the loudest night in country music as CMT today announced that “Nashville” star Charles Esten will host the fan-voted “2017 CMT Music Awards,” live from Nashville on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 8:00 pm ET/PT. The announcement was made by Esten on Instagram. The news comes on the heels of the beloved music drama, which recently shattered ratings and viewership for CMT, returning with new episodes on Thursday, June 1 at 9pm ET/PT and a new season slated to premiere early next year.

Superstars Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Luke Bryan,Miranda Lambert and Thomas Rhett are set to perform with additional artists, presenters and special guests being announced soon.

“Everybody knows that CMT has a special connection with country music and the incredible fans that love it so much,” said Charles Esten. “That connection is why our show, “Nashville,” now has a perfect home on the network. It’s also why there is no other show quite like the “CMT Music Awards.” It’s a show fully dedicated to the fans and an annual chance for them to place their votes for their favorite artists. Besides always being flat-out fun, it’s also always been a stage for magical musical moments - and a place where some of country’s biggest legends have been made. I’m thrilled and honored to get to host this great event.”

Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 9. Fan voting begins the same day at CMT.com and continues until Monday, June 5 at 12:01 AM ET.

Known for its ability to break new artists and unparalleled collaborations with music superstars spanning all genres, the “CMT Music Awards” routinely outpaces itself and the competition as the industry’s most evocative fan-fueled trendsetting event. Last year’s “CMT Music Awards” once again earned its title as the hottest night in country music attracting nearly 4 million fans, its biggest to date, across a three network simulcast (CMT, TV Land and Nick@Nite) up +20% from the prior year. The awards also lit up social media with #CMTawards trending worldwide for 5 hours to rank as the #1 Series/Special on Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings for the day.

Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Charles "Chip" Esten grew up in Alexandria, VA. After starting his acting career in Los Angeles, he was pleased to make his theatrical debut in London, portraying Buddy Holly in the hit West End musical "Buddy." In that role, he was honored to perform for H.R.M Queen Elizabeth and then, for President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush at The White House. Since then, he has appeared in films and on television, most notably on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and "The Office." In 2014, 2015 and 2016 he joined his cast-mates in headlining the “Nashville in Concert” tour with sold out shows across the US, the UK and Ireland. In July, 2016, he launched his innovative #EverySingleFriday music campaign. In July 2017, he will become the first artist to release a new song every week for 52 weeks, straight. He is proud to serve as the National Light the Night Walk Honorary Chair for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Follow @CMT on Twitter and Instagram, use hashtag #CMTawards and like the CMT Music Awards on Facebook.

To request press credentials for the 2017 CMT Music Awards, please visit cmtmusicawardspress.com on May 8.

About CMT

CMT, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S.  CMT, CMT.com and CMT Radio offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and are the top resource for country music on demand.  The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.

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PRESS CONTACT:

Cindy Finke

CMT

cindy.finke@cmt.com

615-335-8404


Lauren Kelcher Stevenson/Izabel Tassy/Jenna Satnick/Samantha Steuer

Sunshine Sachs

CMTMA@sunshinesachs.com

212.691.2800


For Charles Esten:

Jackie Marushka

Jackie@MarushkaMedia.com

(615) 417-6500


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