Arriving onstage at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to fireworks, Young started the track off, standing at the front of the stage with a smile. He delivered the upbeat anthem’s first verse before his real-life friend, Brown, literally jumped in for the second. The smiling antics continued all through the song, with the stars standing shoulder to shoulder and paying tribute to the small town heroes who matter most — all while fans in the crowd held cardboard cutouts of their own famous friends. More pyrotechnics helped the pair finish the song (and the night) off, bringing the 2021 show to a triumphant end.
“Famous Friends” is the title track on Young’s upcoming Famous Friends album, and is currently inside the Top 5 of Billboard’s Country Airplay radio chart. The longtime ‘famous friends’ previously performed the track during the 2021 ACM Awards, while the official music video brought the two together again — as well as highlighted their closest buddies.
Though the song is together, both of the country stars have many plans outside of their collaboration. Young is currently working on his 8th studio album, following 2017’s Losing Sleep. He’ll also perform during the upcoming Charlie Daniels tribute concert in August. Brown, who is pulling double duty as host and performer at the CMTs, is preparing for his 35-city Blessed & Free Tour. The trek will take him to all of the NBA arenas around the country, including the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden.
Other performances from country music’s only fan-voted awards show include Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina and more.
The 2021 CMT Awards, hosted by Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini, will air live on Wednesday, June 9 at 8 p.m. ET on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network and TV Land. Voting is open for Video of the Year from now through Wednesday, June 9. Check out a full list of the nominees here.
Sounds Like Nashville will have all of your coverage for the 2021 CMT Music Awards right here.