Eric Church Added to 2018 CMA Awards as Performer

Luke Bryan will also kick off the awards with a performance of "What Makes You Country."

Written by Lauren Laffer
Eric Church Added to 2018 CMA Awards as Performer
Eric Church; Photo Credit: John Peets

The Chief is heading to the CMA Awards! That’s right – Eric Church himself will perform during “Country Music’s Biggest Night.” The singer is among a long list of performers that include Kelsea BalleriniLuke BryanKenny ChesneyDan + Shay and more.

Along with the superstar performance, the Country Music Association has revealed the presenters for Wednesday night’s broadcast. The list of stars handing out awards includes country artist Jimmie Allen, nationally syndicated personality(and Dancing With the Stars finalist) Bobby Bones, country artist Kane Brown, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars’ Sharna Burgess, model and actress Olivia Culpo, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ Mackenzie Foy, country artists Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch, Martina McBride and Carly Pearce, singer/actor Dennis Quaid, ABC’s American Idol judge Lionel Richie, Stranger Things actor Noah Schnapp, singer/songwriter/actress/producer Rita Wilson and country artist Trisha Yearwood.


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JUST ANNOUNCED: @EricChurchMusic will be performing at the #CMAawards tomorrow at 8|7c on @ABCNetwork.

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Fans tuning in to the celebration should watch from the start as country superstar Luke Bryan will kick-off the festivities with a rousing performance of “What Makes You Country.” The performance will feature several surprise rising country acts.

“When we began talking about this performance I thought this would be a perfect time to share the stage with a few deserving artists who may not otherwise have an opportunity to be a part of the show,” said the Entertainer of the Year nominee in a press release. “This genre is full of talented performers doing what makes them country and this is the perfect song to let them step in the spotlight to be seen and heard by the millions tuning in.”

Previously announced performers include Kelsea BalleriniLuke BryanKenny ChesneyDan + ShayOld DominionCarrie UnderwoodKeith UrbanDierks Bentley with Brothers OsborneFlorida Georgia Line with Bebe RexhaKacey MusgravesPistol Annies, Thomas RhettJason Aldean with Miranda LambertGarth BrooksLuke CombsMidland, Brett YoungLauren AlainaBrad PaisleyRicky Skaggs, and Chris Stapleton with Maren Morris and Mavis Staples, as well as special appearances by Lindsay EllVince Gill, Sierra Hull, Chris JansonAshley McBrydeDavid Lee MurphyJon Pardi, Carson Peters, Marty Stuart, and Cole Swindell.

Additionally Underwood and Brad Paisley will return as hosts for the 11th consecutive year.

The 52nd Annual CMA Awards will take place live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

See the full list of nominees here.