NASCAR Legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. Luke Combs presents with CMT Artist of the Year award: “What A Year’s Has Been”

Luke Combs was unable to attend 2022 Artists of the Year at CMT In celebration, however, he was able to accept the tribute from a distance along with his friend, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Jr. showed up from his North Carolina home to present the award to the country star.

“It’s great to be a part of CMT’s Artist of the Year show. I wish my friend Luke Combs and I could be there tonight, but he’s here in my house helping the Dale Jr Foundation raise money to support children and families in need,” said Dale Jr. through video.

He continued to praise Combs’ success throughout the past year as he listed his various accomplishments.

“We love Luke and we love his music and boy, what a year it has been. He hit his own record, #1 in a row and just finished topping his first stadium tour, selling out shows across the country. Now, he’s going to be attending this live show All over the world, but his biggest hit this year wasn’t the most successful. It was his baby. Congratulations on being a new dad, Luke. Please welcome one of our 2022 CMT Artists of the Year, Luke Combs.”

Combs appeared in the video and gave a short but sweet acceptance speech.

“Dang, what’s up guys? Nashville See you and CMT Thank you so much for this. I love you guys,” he shared. “All the country music fans, my wife, my son, all my songwriting buddies, all the people on my team. I love you guys. Thank you so much!”

After the award was presented, Combs’ future classmate, Riley Greene, performed “The Kind Of Love We Make” in his honor.

With his guitar in hand, Green climbed onto the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and chanted the country song’s soulful lyrics.

“Let’s have some candles burn” / And some records go out / All the lights go down / Take it soft and slow / The way your body moves / Keep doing “what you’re doing” / Me all night / Write sing “Our love song / The girl, I want her, I must Get it / Let passion take us higher / Make the kind of love we make.”

Green shared before the show: “I’m going to sing at Luke Combs’ venue tonight, so it’s not a big deal.” “I don’t have any big shoes to fill in tonight. I hope I can do it fairly, it’s great that he asked me to do it. Obviously I’m a huge block fan. Excited for this opportunity and I hope I can do it fairly and we’ll see.”

Riley Greene will soon join Combs on the road for his 2023 World Tour.

The Artists of the Year 2022 CMT have celebrated the success of Carly Pierce, Ken Brown, Cody Johnson, Luke Combs and Walker Hayes over the past year.

Alan Jackson is honored as CMT Artist for Life. This prestigious honor, given by Ram Trucks, has previously been awarded to Randy Travis (2021), Reba McIntyre (2019), Loretta Lynn (2018), Shania Twain (2016), Kenny Rogers (2015) and Merle Haggard (2014).

Lainey Wilson was named the 2022 CMT Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Wilson is the fifth winner of the award, after Mickey Gayton (2021), Ashley McBride (2019), Kelsey Ballerini (2016), and Chris Stapleton (2015).

The 90-minute concert featured performances by Jackson, Pierce, Johnson, Brown and Wilson. Hayes joined Ciara in a never-before-seen performance of the “Y’all Life” remix. Riley Greene also took the podium to honor Luke Combs.

An intimate tribute was also given to the late Loretta Lynn, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 90, during the star-studded event when her sister Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright performed in her honor.

In addition to its star-studded roster of performances, the show also featured presenters: Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Dustin Lynch, Rascal Flatts forward, Gary LeVox, Kelsea Ballerini, Yellowstone’s Kelsey Asbille, and Shane McAnally.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared. Remotely from the Dale Jr. Foundation’s annual charity event. Foundation in North Carolina to present the Coombs Artist of the Year award for the 2022 CMT.

The 2022 Artists of the Year at CMT Premieres Friday, October 14th at 9/8c on CMT.

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