Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

Over 30 Country Music acts gather on one stage in Nashville to raise money for music education

The fashion coming out of tonight’s Country Music Association (CMA) Fest’s ABC special is stellar, with stage performances and hosts having a touch a Country in their looks. The Fest returns tonight at 8/7c on ABC and on Hulu tomorrow- from having premiered live at the 49th CMA Fest in June, in Music City.

Tonight, there are 30 performances happening over 3 hours. Opening the special was Academy of Country Music Award Winner Kane Brown, who sang his hit ‘I Love You Like I like Country Music.’ Looking more like a Hip-Hop artist, Brown donned black fitted jeans and a white t-shirt and a black baseball hat with the words “family.” Dierks Bentley, who is hosting the Fest with Elle King partakes in a memorable collaboration with the 1992 ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ singer Billy Ray Cyrus. “Onstage she’s just a riot and also super talented – a great combination of talent with comedic humor. A lot of spontaneous moments between the two of us and just a lot of laughs,” says Bentley of King.

Bentley wore an army green t-shirt and blue jeans, while Cyrus rocked black jeans, black t-shirt and a leather jacket, and sunglasses and black cowboy hat. Another memorable duo for the night is Wynonna Judd and Carly Pearce. Judd received a long-standing ovation for the death of her renowned mother Naomi Judd, a Grammy-winning Country Music singer who died in April. Judd, in her quintessential style sparkled in black with fringes, while Peace donned a short sparkling pink dress.

A theme with many of the female artists tonight has been sparkling ensembles whether that be Carrie Underwood’s thigh high and flaming yet sparkling boots, and red sparkling top. Kelsea Ballerini wore a sparkling jump suit with silver, nude, and black accent designs. Or if it wasn’t sparkles, it was bell-bottom pants. Lainey Wilson sang, ‘Never Say Never,’ with Cole Swindell. The ‘Heart Like A Truck Singer’ isn’t seen a day without flared pants.

The men in Country Music tend to keep it simple with jeans and a t-shirt, like Grammy-winning artist Darius Rucker who wore a black Rolling Stones t-shirt from their 1975 tour, blue jeans, and cowboy boots and a baseball hat. Rucker brought the audience to a roar with his ‘Wagon Wheel,’ and took to the stage with Zac Brown Band to sing with the group. Zac Brown wore a noticeable felt fedora hat, jeans and a collared shirt. Luke Combs wore what he wears best on stage, his usual and what he wears for every stage performance, jeans and a black Columbia fishing shirt, while singing “Beer Never Broke My Heart.” Jason Aldean wore a yellow Dolly Parton t-shirt and blue jeans, but with a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. And Thomas Rhett wore blue jeans, a buttoned-down shirt and baseball hat as he sang ‘Slow Down Summer.’

CMA Fest began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, drawing 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Almost fifty years later the festival takes place over four days attracting people from all states and thirty-nine countries, who now alight at the Nissan Stadium. Artists who take to the stage each night don’t receive funds from ticket sales, yet proceeds go towards high-quality music programs around the US through the CMA Foundation. The Festival has partnered with the major TV networks, and tonight ABC Entertainment is airing the specials.

Old Dominion, Elle King and Ashley McBryde sang a duet, Parker McCollum, and Brothers Osborne are other acts that took to the stage. The group Lady A brought the crowd to a roar. Hillary Scott, the lead and background vocalist wore a 70s’ style white dress covered in floral patterns.

“The festival itself may be over, but thanks to these two, along with a solid slate of performances and special collaborations, the party continues in homes across America. It was a fun challenge to think differently with our setup these last two years, but it felt great to be back with a full house at the stadium,” says Robert Deaton, CMA Fest Executive Producer.

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