Country music’s biggest stars will be joined by some of Hollywood’s finest, along with athletes and other celebs who’ll be announcing winners and presenting trophies during next week’s 49th Annual CMA Awards telecast.
The latest country artist to be added to the already stellar lineup is CMA nominee Chris Stapleton, who will be joined, according to CMA organizers, by “a very special guest” who will be announced Monday, November 2nd. (In fact, Rolling Stone Country will help reveal that guest on our Ram Report Monday, in an exclusive interview with Stapleton.) The “Tennessee Whiskey” singer is a first-time CMA nominee, with nods for Male Vocalist and New Artist of the Year. He’s also nominated for Album of the Year for Traveller, which he produced with Dave Cobb. While Stapleton only receives one nomination for the category, he could potentially receive a second trophy as a producer of the LP.
Stapleton and his mystery guest join previously announced performers Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley with Lindsey Stirling, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Kacey Musgraves, Blake Shelton and Zac Brown Band. The show’s co-hosts, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, will both perform during the three-hour telecast, as well.
Added to the list of awards presenters are Female Vocalist of the Year nominee Lee Ann Womack, reigning New Artist of the Year Brett Eldredge, Charles Kelley of Vocal Group of the Year nominee Lady Antebellum, and CMA Country Christmas host Jennifer Nettles. Country artists Reba, Darius Rucker and Cole Swindell will also appear, along with musicians Edie Brickell and Steve Martin and a capella performers Pentatonix. They’ll be joined by actor Kiefer Sutherland, actress Erika Christensen of the ABC drama, Wicked City, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell, ESPN College GameDay‘s Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit, Sports Illustrated cover model Hannah Davis, and Heather O’Reilly and Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team. The pre-televised CMA awards and honors – including the trophies for CMA Broadcast Personality and Station of the Year – will be hosted by Frankie Ballard.
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Also previously announced are the one-of-a-kind collaborations throughout the night as Eric Church joins Hank Williams Jr. for the show-opening musical number, Reba teams with her Vegas pals, Brooks & Dunn, Thomas Rhett performs with rockers Fall Out Boy and Keith Urban, in a clever nod to his recent hit single, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” is joined by John (formerly Cougar) Mellencamp.