Little Big Town Talk 'Clamming Up' as CMA Fest Hosts - Rolling Stone
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Little Big Town Talk ‘Clamming Up’ as CMA Fest Hosts

Quartet interview Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan as hosts of ABC’s ‘CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock’

Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild

Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild perform at CMA Music Festival

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Little Big Town — they’re just like us! Although the country quartet’s members may be country stars, they still get nervous around other big stars, at least when a television camera is turned on.

For the second year in a row, the group composed of Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet host ABC’s CMA Music Fest: Country’s Night to Rock, which required them to interview their country colleagues. 

“It’s different. We never get to do anything on that side,” Schlapman says. “We got to interview Tim McGraw — we were horrible.”  

Fairchild doesn’t sugarcoat it either. “Now we have great respect for what y’all do,” she tells Rolling Stone Country. “We clammed up like two 12-year-old girls in there.”

The nervousness wasn’t just limited to the ladies, either. Westbrook thought his interview with Luke Bryan would be a cake-walk, so to speak. “The camera adds a whole different element to that,” he said. “I had to interview Luke and I thought, ‘That’s cool, we’re friends, we hang out, we go to after-parties,’ but with a camera there I start thinking about other things, like, where do I put my hands? Where does the [microphone] go? And I think, ‘How does [Entertainment Tonight host] Nancy O’Dell do it?'”

All and all, though, the “Day Drinking” singers, who also perform during the show, wouldn’t trade their CMA Fest hosting duties for anything. 

“What’s not to love?” Fairchild says of the festival, held every June in Nashville. “It’s 60,000 country music fans in our hometown.”

CMA Music Fest: Country’s Night to Rock airs tonight, August 5th, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and features performances by Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean and more.

In This Article: Little Big Town


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