Summer will get a bit hotter for country fans this year come Wednesday, Sept. 1, when ABC-TV broadcasts “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” at 8-11 p.m. (ET), with singer, songwriter, actor and 11-time CMA Award winner Tim McGraw serving as host for the annual celebration of America’s music.
This year’s broadcast marks the sixth time that ABC has aired highlight concerts from the annual CMA event, founded in 1972 and originally billed as Fan Fair. Moreover, per organizers, the 2010 festival was attended daily by an average of 65,000 fans from every state and 26 foreign countries, signifying its biggest turnout to date.
The three-hour special will feature performances by Jason Aldean, Billy Currington, Alan Jackson, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, McGraw, Justin Moore, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton with Trace Adkins, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band.
All of the aforementioned performances were filmed in front of a sold-out audience in June during CMA Music Festival in Nashville at LP Field, including a special performance by reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Taylor Swift, who premiered her soon-to-be-released new single, “Mine,” for her fans at a top-secret private event in Nashville during the 2010 CMA fest. The song is the first single from her upcoming album, Speak Now, that’s slated to be in stores Oct. 25.
Viewers will also have the chance to take in a pair of collaborative performances filmed at Nashville’s Fuel venue in front of a jam-packed crowd of festival attendees. Specifically, Dierks Bentley and Jamey Johnson joined Lambert to sing “Bad Angel,” a track from Bentley’s current CD, Up on the Ridge, and Uncle Kracker and Kid Rock performed “Good To Be Me,” which is featured on Uncle Kracker’s recently released CD, Happy Hour: The South River Road Sessions.
Offering an insider’s glimpse at the festival, Lady Antebellum allowed cameras to follow them for a day at the event. Viewers will see the reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year perform at their fan club party, interact with festival attendees during an unplanned appearance in the Fan Fair Exhibit Hall. Per PR reports, humorous segments involving several of the participating artists, surprise guests, and more will be featured in the special as well.
This year, the CMA Music Festival served as the grand re-opening of Nashville after the city and surrounding areas experienced a devastating flood in May. The flood, the recovery efforts and the coming together of the Nashville community to help its fellow citizens also will be spotlighted in the Sept. 1 television special.
Related reading: Tickets for 2011 CMA Festival go on sale Aug. 23, fans urged to buy early
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