Every year, CMT chooses a handful of country stars to honor at their annual CMT Artists of the Year event who have made an impact on the genre, and this year they selected Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Thomas Rhett, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Ashley McBryde, and Reba McEntire.
The awards show, which aired on CMT on Wednesday (Oct 16) at 8/7c, had to have been a bittersweet moment for Kane Brown. Last Saturday, Brown’s longtime drummer, Kenny Dixon, passed away in a car accident.
Brown’s team confirmed the passing with a statement which reads, “It is with profound sadness and disbelief that we confirm we lost our drummer Kenny this weekend in a tragic car accident. Kenny was a member of our family from the very beginning and our hearts are with his fiancé Sarah, his son, and everyone who knew and loved him. He was truly one of the greatest and kindest people on and off stage we’ve ever known.”
The singer himself shared a tribute to his friend and drummer on Instagram, saying, “Love you so much dude!!! You started all of this with me from the start in 2015 when no body else believed we would make it out of Chattanooga playing for 500 people. I know u will be watching over us with that red neck accent that we all love and you will never be replaced bro!!! I promise u that!!”
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Love you so much dude!!! You started all of this with me from the start in 2015 when no body else believed we would make it out of Chattanooga playing for 500 people and your last show was in a Fn Stadium my guy 🔥 I know u will be watching over us with that red neck accent that we all love and you will never be replaced bro!!! I promise u that!! 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽
Brown is currently on tour, and was scheduled to play a show in Los Angeles at the Staples Center this Friday, October 18. The venue announced via Twitter that the show is now postponed until January 9, 2020.
There was one event that Brown was not going to miss: the CMT Artists of the Year event.
Chris Young presented the award to Brown saying, “I’ve been so incredibly lucky to call this guy a brother and a friend, he’s like family. If you guys know, it’s been a bit of a rough time for him. His dear friend and part of his road family, Kenny Dixon passed away tragically in a car accident. Understandably, a lot of us can’t even imagine what he’s going through but he really felt it was important to be here tonight. So I’m very proud to present this to my friend, Kane Brown.”
The entire room gave him a standing ovation as he walked on stage to present the award and deliver his speech. As he walked on stage, he took a deep breath, knowing what he was about to say.
Looking down at the award, Brown tearfully said, “Thank y’all so much.”
“I want to dedicate this to my drummer, Kenny,” he said, garnering a supportive round of applause from his peers in the room. “He started with me comin’ out of Chattanooga off Facebook. People didn’t think we would make it. He was with me the whole time. He was so supportive of me, and I love you man, I miss you. The band misses you.”
A couple times he looked up at Heaven with tears rolling down his face. He went on to thank his management, CMT, the fans, the country community.
“God bless you guys, y’all stay safe, I love y’all,” he said ending his speech.