Alabama Will Return to CMA Music Festival After Two Decades

Group will kick off the festivities with June 5th show in Nashville

Alabama attends the 2013 CMT Awards
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
May 30, 2014 8:05 PM ET

Alabama, the Eighties powerhouse group best known for hits like "Mountain Music" and "Dixieland Delights," will kick off this year's CMA Musical Festival on Thursday, June 5th, marking the band's first appearance at the Nashville-based country fest in nearly two decades. The group — made up of singer Randy Owen, bassist Teddy Gentry and guitarist Jeff Cook — announced the show on Twitter, asking fans to chime in with suggestions for the setlist.

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It's been a busy decade for Alabama, whose three members (drummer Mark Herndon, though inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame with the group, was considered a hired gun by Owen) emerged from semi-retirement in 2011 to sing on Brad Paisley's chart-topping "Old Alabama." From there, the band resumed touring and recording, even tracking two new songs for a tribute album, ALABAMA and Friends, that cracked the Top 10 last summer. Many of the artists who also appeared on that album, including Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts and Florida Georgia Line, will play their own shows at CMA Fest, which is expected to bring more than 200,000 fans to downtown Nashville. 

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