LeAnn Rimes, Jason Aldean and Dierks Bently Added as Performers on ABC's CMA Music Festival
The two-hour television special featuring country music's top artists airs July 23.
Heart-warming stories and riveting musical performances are the heart and soul of summer's hottest TV special CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock, airing Monday, July 23 (9:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.
"CMA Music Festival is a phenomenon unlike any other and the special aims to capture it all - the unique interaction and relationship between the artists and their fans along with scorching performances by some of our format's most compelling stars," said CMA Chief Operating Officer Tammy Genovese.
Added to the list of artists appearing on the special are Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Sara Evans, LeAnn Rimes, and Josh Turner. Several of today's top hit makers are already scheduled to appear on the special including Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Sugarland, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, and Reba McEntire in a duet with Kelly Clarkson. More artists will be announced soon. This is the third time ABC will broadcast this special, which invites the whole country to America's biggest Country Music celebration.
CMA Music Festival is about more than the music. For 36 years, the cornerstone of the annual event has been the relationship between the artists, the fans and their mutual love for the music. The special was taped in Nashville June 7-10 during the Festival, a four-day love fest attended by more than 191,000 Country Music enthusiasts from around the world.
The special is as much about the fans as it is the artists. In one segment, McBride, who grew up in a small town in Kansas, presents a new truck to a young couple who lost everything in a recent tornado that leveled the small Kansas town of Greensburg. Volunteer fireman Chance Little, 27, and his pregnant wife Tracy, 22, thought they were attending the Festival as a much needed break from the devastation at home, but McBride called them on stage following her powerful performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and presented the truck to help the couple get on their feet and on with their lives - to the cheers of 50,000 fans.
Big & Rich, Big Kenny Alphin and John Rich, are fan favorites for a reason: they love discovering and nurturing fresh talent and they were doing it on a BIG scale at the Festival.
As Alphin said, "The only thing success has done is allow us to do more for more people."
During the Festival, Big & Rich met a pair of extremely talented musicians, Ruby Jane Smith, 13, of Columbus, Miss., and Chelsea Dock, 11, of Brooklyn, NY. The aspiring players thought it was a private meet and greet with the duo, but it morphed into a jam session at soundcheck, that culminated with the pair being asked to sit in on Big & Rich's stadium performance at LP Field, where they rocked the house on the duo's new single, "Radio".
"What we love about our artists is their accessibility and sincere desire to connect with the fans," Genovese said. "And what comes across is that anything can happen at CMA Music Festival and you never know who you are going to see, or what could happen next."