Carrie Underwood

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Spotify

CMT is celebrating the women of country music with a first-ever, all-female Artists of the Year special.

It was announced Tuesday morning that Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris are among the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year honorees along with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, and Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott. The 90-minute special is set to air on Oct. 17 on CMT and will feature surprise musical pairings and guests, set to be announced at a later date. 

"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, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Maren Morris

Rick Kern/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

The statement continued, "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."

Additionally, there will a day-long "Women of Country Music" takeover across all CMT platforms where music lives including music hours on CMT, the 24/7 digital channel CMT Music and CMT Radio's widely-syndicated shows CMT Radio LIVE and CMT After Midnite to encourage and inspire increased female airplay on Oct. 17.

The CMT Artists of the Year special will premiere on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 8:00 p.m., ET/PT only on CMT.

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