Country Stars Reflect on CMA Fest Ahead of ‘Country’s Night To Rock’ Special

Country music is taking over television on Wednesday, Aug. 3 when ABC airs 2016 “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock,” hosted by Brett Eldredge and Thomas Rhett.

“Me and Brett Eldredge are hosting this year. It was nice to be passed the torch by Little Big Town,” Rhett explained of his new hosting gig. “Been watching the last couple years and they did such a killer job. We’re trying to fill some shoes and to already have an organic relationship with the guy you’re hosting with makes it very easy. We got out there and basically just be idiots for four straight days. It’s been a blast.”

“CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” was filmed during the 2016 CMA Music Festival, which was held in Nashville June 9-12. The annual event featured meet-and-greets in Fan Fair X, live music on 11 stages and more than 600 artists and celebrities.

“I kind of refer to this as the Thanksgiving holiday for us country singers because we get a chance to go out there and say ‘thank you’ to as many country fans as we can get to at one time,” said Dierks Bentley, who will appear on the special with a performance of his duet with Elle King, “Different For Girls.” “These are the most dedicated of the dedicated. They travel from all over the world to be here and it all goes back to country music. It all comes back to great songs. That’s what country music is all about.”

“They really are the most loyal and enthusiastic fans that anyone could ever hope for,” added Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, before joking, “It’s like an average night for Luke Bryan. It’s a super cool night for us.”

Also appearing on Country’s Night to Rock for solo performances will be Jason AldeanKelsea Ballerini, Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Cole Swindell, Steven Tyler, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. The special will highlight many of the collaborations including Bentley performing with Elle King, Bryan with Urban, Eldredge and Rhett, Lady Antebellum with Cam, Little Big Town with Pharrell Williams, Rascal Flatts with Maren Morris, Tyler with Martina McBride, Hank Williams, Jr. with Chris Janson and Justin Moore, and Chris Young’s duet with Cassadee Pope.

ABC will host the special, produced by Robert Deaton, for the 12th time and it will remain with the network through 2021. Be sure to tune in to “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” on Wednesday, Aug. 3 from 8:00-11:00 PM ET.