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Jennifer Nettles Looking Forward to Talent, Opening Number on CMA Country Christmas

Nettles is ready for fans to see her "stellar" opening number at this year's CMA Country Christmas!

Written by Lauren Laffer
Jennifer Nettles Looking Forward to Talent, Opening Number on CMA Country Christmas
Jennifer Nettles at CMA Country Christmas, Photo by Donn Jones / CMA

It’s officially the ho-ho-holiday season! After Thanksgiving ends and the Black Friday shopping is completed, it’s time to bust out the Christmas tree, light a fire and pour some eggnog.

One way to really get in the holiday spirit is to gather around the television for holiday specials, including the annual CMA Country Christmas, hosted by Jennifer Nettles for the seventh time. While hosting the same show may be redundant for some, Nettles enjoys her countless dance numbers while singing some very special Christmas classics, including some tracks from her brand new To Celebrate Christmas album.

“I always look forward, every year, to the opener because it’s a big show opener with huge production. Dancing and lights and lots of, lots of fun madness,” she told Sounds Like Nashville and other reporters backstage during the show’s taping. “And then for me this year specifically the two collaborations that I have on my Christmas album, To Celebrate Christmas, one with Andra Day and one with Idina Menzel. I’m super excited about those.”

This year’s special will not only include Nettles with Menzel and Day, but also appearances from Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Chris Young, Brett Eldredge, and Kelsea Ballerini, among others.

“Some people are like, ‘Oh why didn’t you invite so-and-so? Why didn’t you invite so-and-so?’ And I’m like, ‘Well first of all, I don’t invite people. And second of all, usually it depends on who has put a Christmas record out.’ People want something to come and celebrate, you know, these albums that they’ve made,” she explained. “And so this year, all that becomes cyclical. So this year we have a great crop of artists who have put out records this year. You know, everybody from Kacey Musgraves to Brett Eldredge to Chris Young. It will be a very, I think, filled-out show this year because of that.”

While she’s looking forward to the new talent taking the stage, Nettles does admit that she gets her kicks from the big opening number, which puts her Broadway skills to the test.

“Well, the opener this year is stellar! It’s super, super fun,” she said. “I don’t know really if it was the best idea for me to have started dancing when I was 40. At least that’s how I feel the next day as I’m in my Epsom salt bath. But I do certainly enjoy it and I love everything that the choreographers and the producers put into the show. It is so much fun. So I look forward to that, especially this year. I think it’s pretty stellar.”

Fans can catch the “stellar” opening number on Monday, Nov. 28 when CMA Country Christmas airs on ABC.