CMT special focuses on good news work of everyday heroes

This combination photo shows Miranda Lambert performing at the 2017 CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tenn. on June 8, 2017, from left, Darius Rucker performing at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tenn., on June 14, 2015 and Luke Combs performing at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on April 7, 2019. CMT is saluting heroes on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic with a star filled TV special featuring Combs, Lambert, Rucker, Florida Georgia Line and others. (AP Photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country stars highlighted the heroic work of citizens and communities around the country who were coming together to help each other in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic during the "CMT Celebrates Our Heroes" TV special.

But Wednesday's show largely didn't address the protesting and rallies for racial justice that have gripped the country in the previous week following the death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes.

CMT started the show with a simple text introduction: “As social unrest grips the nation, we want to say thank you to those taking action against injustice. There are heroes all around us."

The special aired in place of their CMT Music Awards, which were postponed to October. It appeared to contain pre-recorded performances and dedications from artists like Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs and Darius Rucker and was focused on good news stories of healthcare workers, educators, first responders and more.

Blake Shelton spoke about the pandemic especially hurting lower income people who are food insecure, including children who rely on school lunches before highlighting the city of Kodiak, Alaska, and its school district for delivering meals to children.

Underwood, whose sisters are teachers and her mother is a former teacher, noted how educators have come up with creative solutions to keep kids learning even as classes went online. “Now more than ever we recognize what an important and difficult job they have,” Underwood said.

Luke Combs sang his virus-inspired song called “Six Feet Apart” after acknowledging that he misses being able to sing for people.

Country singer Thomas Rhett in a black and white video sang his inspirational song “Be a Light,” which included the timely lyrics: “In a world full of hate, be a light."