Miranda Lambert, Chad Kroeger, Gavin DeGraw tapped to salute CMT artists of the year

Miranda Lambert,  Matthew McConaughey, Nickelback”s Chad Kroeger, the Eagles” Joe Walsh, and Ellen DeGeneres are among the artists who will honor the 2011 CMT Artists of the Year in a special that will air Dec. 13 on CMT.com. Rob Lowe will host the 90-minute program, taped at Nashville”s Bridgestone Arena.

The artists of the year-Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift-were chosen based on sales, airplay, concert grosses and internet activity.

Also participating in the glad-handing will be The All-American Rejects, the Avett Brothers, Gavin DeGraw, Jeff Gordon, Stephanie Izard, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, Lionel Richie and chief Obama fan Hank Williams Jr.

In other country news,  “American Idol” Lauren Alaina, The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley, Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Darius Rucker and James Taylor will all perform as part of “Country Music: In Performance at the White House,” a PBS special emanating from the East Room of the White House. The special will begin airing Nov. 23 on PBS stations nationwide.