CMT's First Female 'Artists of the Year' Special to Honor Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and More

CMT is hosting its first-ever all-female Artists of the Year special, honoring Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini and more. The event will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 8:00 PM ET on CMT.

“This year, we’re evolving the special to reflect what’s happening right now in culture and in the lives of our fans,” Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President of Music & Talent, CMT, says in a statement. “In this monumental year for women, dedicating one of the biggest nights in the genre to applaud female country artists not only solidifies our commitment, but we hope will spark a much-needed change in the industry.”

"Thank you for narrowing the gap in this industry," Morris tweeted. "Proud to be honored among friends this night!"

"Couldn’t be any prouder than to stand alongside these inspiring women," Little Big Town shared. "Thank you [CMT]."

"Goodness I love you @CMT," Ballerini wrote.

The news comes shortly after Underwood spoke out about the lack of women in country music, and her reasons behind making her upcoming Cry Pretty Tour 360 an all-female tour.

"Even when I was growing up, I wished there was more women on the radio, and I had a lot more than there are today," Underwood said on the Women Want to Hear Women podcast. "I think about all the little girls that are sitting at home saying, 'I want to be a country music singer.' What do you tell them? What do you do? How do you look at them and say, 'Well, just work hard, sweetie, and you can do it' when that's probably not the case right now?

"I see so many girls out there busting their rear ends and so many guys out there where some new guy has a No. 1 and I'm like, 'Well, good for you, that's great, but who are you? What's happening?'" she continues. "And then these strong women who are super talented that totally deserve it are not getting the same opportunities. But how to change it? I don't know. How do we change it?"

Once again, the annual Artists of the Year special will include musical pairings and special guests, which will be announced closer to the event. In addition, CMT will also this year have a "Women of Country Music" takeover on all CMT platforms.

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Other female artists to be honored include Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott, Maren Morris, and both Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town. More information on the event can be found at CMT.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mike Coppola