The Country Music Association has unveiled the line-up for their annual holiday special CMA Country Christmas, airing this year on November 30 on ABC.
Hosted by Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins, the special will feature performances by Darius Rucker and Lindsey Stirling, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Lady A, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, and Rhett himself.
“The idea for this year’s show was to do a throwback of the great Christmas specials of the 1960s and 1970s,” says CMA Country Christmas executive producer Robert Deaton.
“Andy Williams, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra all had classic Christmas specials where the viewer was invited into the homes of the host to celebrate the holiday like a best friend coming to visit. That was what we wanted to create for this year’s show. Instead of a big flashy production, we took a page from those iconic specials to say, ‘Come relax, and let’s celebrate the holidays together.’”
Directed by Paul Miller, the Country Music Association special was filmed in Nashville this past September without a live audience for the first time in the event’s 11 year history.
In the show’s promotional clip, the star-studded line-up can be seen performing in front of various cozy holiday setups.
While Rucker recently hosted last week’s CMA Awards with Reba McEntire, Rhett was among the nominees for Male Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for “Be A Light.” Lady A was nominated for Vocal Group of the Year while Gabby Barrett received a nomination in the New Artist of the Year category.
The ceremony featured performances from Rucker with McEntire, Rhett, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, and Luke Combs.
Rhett recently previewed his fifth studio album with a new single “What’s Your Country Song.” The new song was written by Rhett, Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure, Parker Welling, and the artist’s father and country star Rhett Akins, who has become a prolific composer for other artists in the past dozen years or so.
Rhett has been building anticipation for the track since April, when he posted an acoustic performance of it on social media.
Learn more about CMA Country Christmas here.