It's only October, but CMT is already calling is:  the cable outlet has named Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift its  “Artists of the Year," and will fete the quintet on a special airing Dec. 13.

Three of the five, Aldean, Lady A, and Swift, return to the winner’s circle following last year’s inaugural event.  The 90-minute special salutes the top five country acts of the year based on sales, airplay, concert grosses and CMT.com activity.

[More after the jump...]


Similar to last year’s event, the top acts will be saluted by other artists performing their songs. No performers have been announced yet, but we can only hope that this year’s event is as tasty as last year’s when Adele and Darius Rucker knocked it out of the ball park with a gorgeous rendition of Lady A’s “Need You Now”  (which we’ve embedded below)  and Maroon 5 turned Swift’s “Mine” upside down.

The “Artists of the Year” special will air at 9 p.m., Dec. 13 on CMT.