Watch: CMT Music Awards Opening Performance 2019

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Watch the CMT Music Awards Opening Performance of 2019, kicking off the show at 8 p.m. ET.

Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town and Trombone Shorty kicked off the awards show with a performance of Rhett’s song, “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time” to a crowd of screaming fans. They promised “magic,” and they delivered. The collaboration highlighted the unique qualities of each of the performers. The chemistry between each of the artists was apparent on stage. Most importantly, the high-energy opener set the stage for the rest of the awards show.

Rhett and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild wrote the song together, along with The Stereotypes and others, Rhett said in a CMT interview.

“I was like hey think do you think everyone else will be on board with this?” he said. “It was so fun being in the studio with ya’ll, getting to watch ya’ll be in the studio and do your thing. It was hilarious and awesome at the same time. But it was just so fun. I’m just so honored to be able to get to do a song with these guys and gals. They’re heroes of mine.”

The performance exceeded expectations Rhett laid out in the interview. He said there would be special effects, confetti, horn players on the deck and “a lot of moving pieces.”

“There’s just a lot of energy up there,” he said.

“It’s magic,” Ashley McBryde added.

Karen Fairchild said Trombone Shorty performed with them at a previous awards show and said they were thrilled to learn he would join them again.

“We played with Shorty on an awards show and his energy is unbelievable,” she said. “His talent is extraordinary.”

“We were so excited to find out he was going to be on the song,” Fairchild added.

It aired tonight on several networks including CMT, MTV and TV land. The awards show is held in Nashville. This year’s host is Little Big Town, for the second year in a row. They first took the stage for their opening performance to kick off the awards show before switching their role to hosts.

The 2019 CMT Awards stage includes an impressive range of artists, including hosts Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, the Zac Brown Band, Dan + Shay and Kelsey Ballerini.

The opening performance by Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town and Trombone Shorty was one of several collaborations to take the stage at the 2019 awards show. Viewers also saw collaborations between Sheryl Crow and Maren Morris, Boyz II Men performing with Brett Young, and Brandi Carlile teaming up with Tanya Tucker.

Tucker said on the she would pick Calile to “have in a foxhole” with her.

Carrie Underwood won Female Video of the Year, and took home her fifth award from the Country Music Awards 2019.

She said on the red carpet that fans and performers were “fired up.”

The awards show has two stages – one indoor and one outdoor. Underwood said she would be performing on the outdoor stage, and they are expecting rain.

She said she doesn’t have traction on her heels, joking “So tune in.”