CMA Fest 2020 Is Still on With Lineup of Past Performances

CMA Best of Fest Lineup

ABC

Country music fans will get a chance to look back at over a decade of performances from CMA Fest tonight, July 13, 2020, in a new CMA Best of Fest three-hour show.

The three-hour event will feature 28 performances from over the years, and it will be hosted by Luke Bryan. There will also be a brand new performance from Luke Bryan and special guest star Darius Rucker.

The special celebrates the legacy of the CMA Fest, which is the world’s longest-running country music festival taking place in Nashville annually since 1972. The festival was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will return in 2021.


The CMA Best of Fest Lineup Includes Over 25 Performances

In lieu of hosting a new festival this year, CMA has gathered over 25 performances from the past and put them together for the new special.

Artists appearing in the TV special include:

  • Trace Adkins
  • Lauren Alaina
  • Jason Aldean
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Dierks Bently
  • Garth Brooks
  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Kane Brown
  • Luke Bryan
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Dan + Shay
  • Lzzy Hale
  • Sam Hunt
  • Joan Jett
  • Lady A
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Lil Nas X
  • Little Big Town
  • Tim McGraw
  • Maren Morris
  • Brad Paisley
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Darius Rucker
  • Blake Shelton
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Zac Brown Band

There will also be special guest appearances by the following celebrities:

  • Bobby Bones
  • Jim Gaffigan
  • Kirk Herbstreit
  • Peyton Manning
  • Lionel Richie
  • Rob Riggle
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Michael Strahan
  • Rita Wilson

The special was executive produced by Robert Deaton and airs at 8 p.m. tonight, July 13, 2020.

“We knew … there was no way for us to make it CMA music festival by doing a living room performance or smaller venue,” Deaton told USA Today. “These tentpole-type events, the audience — whether they’re aware of it or not — know it’s that time of year.” ”


Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker Will Perform Together

Luke Bryan won’t just host tonight’s special. He will also be performing alongside Darius Rucker.

“I’m so glad that we were able to put a show together with CMA Best of Fest and let the fans at home relive a lot of these memories,” Bryan said during an appearance on Good Morning America. “I had to go host — I hosted this show in an empty football stadium and it was very emotional. It was just heartbreaking that all of our fans couldn’t be there this year, but it’s just one more testament of how crazy this year is.”

Deaton outlined some of the performances that he considered the best including Garth Brooks’ surprise performance in 2017, which marked his first performance at a CMA Fest since 1998. The performance includes “Friends in Low Places,” “Thunder Rolls” and more.

Deaton also said Miranda Lambert’s 2007 performance of “Kerosene” was one of the best, along with Rascal Flatts and Little Big Town’s 2011 collaboration, Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus and Keith Urban’s 2019 “Old Town Road” performance and the new performance Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker will bring to the table tonight.

Bryan and Rucker performed a new rendition of John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” at the empty Nissan Stadium where the special was filmed.

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