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CMT to Honor 'Nashville' Cast with First-Ever "International Impact Award

CMT has announced that it will honor the cast of ABC's groundbreaking series, "Nashville" with the inaugural "International Impact Award" during the "2015 CMT Artists of the Year" special, the definitive year end party, live from Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville on Wednesday, December 2 at 8pm ET/PT. The award will be presented by country sensation Kellie Pickler, currently featured in CMT's hit series, "I Love Kellie Pickler." "Nashville" is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment.

Cast members Connie Britton (Rayna), Clare Bowen (Scarlett), Chris Carmack (Will), Will Chase (Luke), Charles Esten (Deacon), Jonathan Jackson (Avery), Sam Palladio (Gunnar), Maisy Stella (Daphne), Lennon Stella (Maddie), and Audrey Peeples (Layla) are slated to accept the award on behalf of the entire cast.

"Through their captivating characters, the cast of Nashville have become international ambassadors for our music; helping to spark Nashville's red-hot renaissance " said Brian Philips, President of CMT. "With this award, we express our gratitude to a terrific group of stars for helping connect fans from around the world with our city."

The sixth-annual 90-minute special will feature once-in-a-lifetime performances, unexpected tributes and unforgettable toasts as the biggest stars of music, film and television gather to celebrate the top five artists that earned the right to be called CMT's artists of the year: Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt. These artists collectively dominated the last 12 months ruling CMT's platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping album and singles, and selling out arenas around the country. Country legend Kenny Rogers will receive the prestigious "Artist of a Lifetime Award," while Chris Stapleton will receive the first-ever "CMT Artists of the Year Breakout Award" and perform live. Additional performers, presenters, and special guests will be announced at a later date.

Previous "CMT Artists of the Year" honorees include Jason Aldean (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Kenny Chesney (2011, 2012), Eric Church (2012), Hunter Hayes (2013), Toby Keith (2012), Lady Antebellum (2010, 2011), Miranda Lambert (2012, 2014), Tim McGraw (2013), Brad Paisley (2011), Taylor Swift (2010, 2011), Carrie Underwood (2010, 2012), Keith Urban (2014) and Zac Brown Band (2010).

Past "CMT Artists of the Year" performances have included Adele and Darius Rucker performing Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now," Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan's mashup of "Oh No" and "All Night Long," and Maroon 5 covering Taylor Swift's "Mine." The show has featured appearances by EllenDeGeneres, Matthew McConaughey, Selena Gomez, Billy Bob Thornton, Roger Clemens, Morgan Freeman and more.

Now in its fourth season on ABC, popular country music drama "Nashville" (@Nashville_ABC) stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O'Connor, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Will Chase as Luke Wheeler, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad, Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad and Aubrey Peeples as Layla Grant. Dee Johnson ("Boss," "The Good Wife," "The War Room," "A Perfect Candidate"), Callie Khouri ("Thelma & Louise") and Steve Buchanan are executive producers of "Nashville." The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment. The Music Of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 4, Volume 1 is set for release December 4, 2015 on Big Machine Records to digital retailers and Target. With a hearty 17 tracks, the album exhibits storylines, themes and emotions felt throughout the current season.

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