Luke Bryan has been tapped to host the CMA Best Of Fest – a three-hour retrospective airing Thursday, 9 July at 8:00 pm EST on ABC. The special will feature sets from over 25 artists, captured over the past 16 years of CMA Fest. Bryan will also be joined by Darius Rucker for a brand new performance.
Founded in 1972 as “Fan Fair” and renamed in 2004, Nashville’s annual CMA Fest offers country music fans four days of live performances from the genre’s biggest stars. While the festival has been cancelled this year, amid COVID-19, CMA Best Of Fest will bring some of the past years’ most legendary performances to homes across America. Among the 25 artists featured will be Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Eric Church and Garth Brooks. Also appearing will be Lady A, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris and Dan + Shay, plus many others. Special appearances will be made by the likes of Michael Strahan, Rita Wilson, Lionel Richie, Gwen Stefani, Peyton Manning and Jim Gaffigan.
Ahead of the festivities, on 1 July, chart-topping country artists Jimmie Allen and Lindsay Ell will host the CMA Summer Stay-Cay presented by Budweiser Nitro Gold. The multi-hour live stream event, taking place on CMA’s Facebook and YouTube channel, will feature live performances by more than 50 country acts, plus Q&As, games and much more.
Luke Bryan, meanwhile, recently announced the decision to delay the release of his forthcoming album Born Here Live Here Die Here and the start of its accompanying Proud To Be Right Here Tour, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Bryan’s seventh studio release, Born Here Live Here Die Here had originally been scheduled for a 24 April street date via Capitol Nashville. It will now be out on 7 August with tour dates beginning in July.
While Bryan’s fans eagerly await his next album, they’ve been able to get a taste thanks to several singles, including the chart-topping ‘What She Wants Tonight,’ ‘Knockin’ Boots’ and, most recently, Top Ten country hit ‘One Margarita’.