'Nashville' Plots Big Guest Stars, International Tour

Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett and Kesha will appear on the show this season, while its cast takes their music on the road

Charles Esten ("Deacon") and Clare Bowen ("Scarlett") will hit the road as part of the 'Nashville' tour this Spring. Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

After a long winter's break, Nashville returns to ABC this week with new episodes and the long-awaited wedding of Deacon Claybourne (Charles "Chip" Esten) and Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton). The show, now in the last half of its fourth season, continues to blur the lines of fiction and reality, with upcoming appearances slated for Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett, who will portray themselves. Also just announced to appear as herself, according to the Hollywood Reporter, is pop singer Kesha.

In addition to their cameo roles (in separate episodes), Ballerini and Rhett will both perform recent hits on the series, which so far this season has spotlighted rocker-turned-country-star Steven Tyler, along with songwriter Jim Lauderdale and Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus. Among other country artists who have previously appeared as themselves on the hit drama are Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Trisha Yearwood, and the Band Perry.

 Kesha has had a lifelong connection to Nashville and country music. Her mother, Patricia Rose ("Pebe") Sebert, was a co-writer (with Hugh Moffatt) of Dolly Parton's 1978 country chart-topper "Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You," which Kesha covered on her Deconstructed EP in 2012.

Following previous tours in 2014 and 2015, the stars of the ABC drama Nashville are hitting the road again with a cross-country tour featuring cast members Esten, Clare Bowen (Scarlett) and Chris Carmack (Will). In addition to performing their own original music, the cast mates will feature songs heard on the series series. Will Chase (Luke), Jonathan Jackson (Avery) and Aubrey Peeples (Layla) will join the tour in select cities. The Nashville in Concert Tour will also stage its first-ever international run in the United Kingdom with Bowen, Carmack, Esten and native Brit Sam Palladio (Gunnar) performing. With more than five million total downloads (and one million LP sales) throughout the show's run, Big Machine Records is set to release the latest cast soundtrack, The Music of Nashville, Season 4, Volume 2, on May 13th.

Nashville returns to the ABC lineup on Wednesday, March 16th, at 10 p.m. ET.

Nashville in Concert tour dates:

April 14 – San Jose, CA @ City National Civic  

April 15 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Venetian Theatre at The Venetian

April 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Microsoft Theater  

April 17 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre  

April 19 – Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre  

April 21 – Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theater  

April 23 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie

April 24 – Austin, TX @ The Moody Theater*  

April 25 – Houston, TX @ Revention Music Center

April 27 – Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre  

April 28 – Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall  

April 30 – Rosemont, IL @ Rosemont Theatre  

May 1 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre  

May 3 – Washington, DC @ DAR Constitution Hall

May 5 – New York, NY @ The Theater at MSG

May 6 – Boston, MA @ Wang Theatre  

May 7 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena

Tickets for all U.S. shows go on sale Friday, March 18th, here, except for Austin, with its on-sale date one week later, on March 25th.

UK tour dates:

June 13 – Manchester @ Bridgewater Hall  

June 14 – Birmingham @ Birmingham Symphony

June 16 – Glasgow @ Glasgow Clyde Auditorium

June 17 – Bristol @ Bristol Colston Hall  

June 18 – London @London Eventim Apollo Hammersmith

All UK shows go on sale March 18 at 9 a.m. GMT here, and at www.ticketmaster.co.uk  and www.axs.com.