With the 49th Annual CMA Awards telecast now exactly four weeks away, the show’s organizers are teasing viewers with “one-of-a-kind Wednesdays,” revealing unique pairings of artists who’ll be featured during the live three-hour event on November 4th. First up is the announcement that New Artist of the Year nominee Thomas Rhett will perform with alt-rock band Fall Out Boy.
This isn’t Fall Out Boy’s first country-music collaboration either. In 2013, the four-member group led by lyricist-bassist Pete Wentz joined sibling trio the Band Perry for an episode of the genre-hopping CMT Crossroads series. Rhett’s Tangled Up LP, released late last month, debuted at Number Three on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. He’s currently on the charts with the romantic ballad “Die a Happy Man,” but the first single from the record, “Crash and Burn,” was something of a funky, soulful departure for the self-avowed James Brown superfan.
“In all genres, old is becoming new and old is becoming fresh,” Rhett told Rolling Stone Country earlier this year. “It’s been going on in pop for a long time, and I think with songs like [Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’] ‘Uptown Funk’ and the Weeknd’s ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’ — which sounds exactly like a Michael Jackson song — everybody is taking what they learned and loved from their idols and trying to make it into what they do today.”
Collaborative efforts are expected to fill Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena throughout CMA night. Earlier this week it was announced that two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year Hank Williams Jr. and first-time nominee in that category, Eric Church, will open the show with a joint performance of the Neil Young-penned “Are You Ready for the Country” — Bocephus’s new single. Church received a total of five nominations this year, tying him with “Girl Crush” crooners Little Big Town.
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Hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who will ply their comedic skills and also be featured musical performers, the CMA Awards air live on Wednesday, November 4th, beginning at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.