A rowdy icon and the firebrand of the traditional-country resurgence are among the performers announced for CMA Music Festival. Hank Williams Jr. and Chris Stapleton will each perform sets at Nashville's Nissan Stadium during Night Two of CMA Music Fest in June.
Eric Church, Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt round out the Friday night lineup, while Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts are scheduled for Thursday evening's kickoff. CMA Music Festival runs June 9th through 12th (artists for the Saturday and Sunday performances at Nissan Stadium have yet to be announced).
Williams and Stapleton's appearances foreshadow the pair's late-summer tour. They'll perform a string of eight shows beginning August 5th in Tampa. Williams, who scored a Number Two debut on the Billboard Country Albums chart with his latest LP, It's About Time, says that even after 37 records and countless live shows, he can't resist the rush of creating, both onstage and in the studio.
"That doesn't go away. It's almost too easy for me. It's like an NFL receiver who kind of shows up for practice, but he got it, and bang, touchdown, won it all. They don't rehearse a whole lot, and I don't either," Williams tells Rolling Stone Country. "I play hard, and I work hard."
Stapleton, meanwhile, recently announced a new string of solo headlining dates, including shows in New Orleans, North Carolina and Philadelphia. He and his wife Morgane appear on Dave Cobb's Southern Family album, out this Friday, March 18th.