This week’s CMT Music Awards will feature seven premiere television performances of brand new songs.
“It’s sort of that first listen to a hit,” says CMT Music Awards executive producer Margaret Comeaux. “It’s like a country fan’s dream summer song list.”
Sam Hunt will make a premiere performance of his new single, “Downtown’s Dead,” while Dierks Bentley will welcome Brothers Osborne for “Burning Man,” a track off Bentley’s upcoming album The Mountain.
Florida Georgia Line will perform their new folk-tinged “Simple,” and this year’s CMT Music Awards hosts Little Big Town will offer the first performance of their single “Summer Fever.”
“All four of them are incredible collaborators,” Comeaux says of the quartet. “They come to the table with great ideas. They are funny and the fans love them. When you have a show like this, a 2 ½-hour show, the comedic aspect of our show is fun. These guys aren’t comedians but they have great timing. Of course, you can’t get any better from a music perspective. They deliver every time they take the stage. Having four of them [in hosting roles] gives us room to try different things in the show and spread it out a little bit.”
Several pop artists are vying for top CMT Music Awards honors this year, including Bebe Rexha (for the collaboration “Meant To Be” with Florida Georgia Line), Ludacris (“Champion” with Carrie Underwood), Justin Timberlake (“Say Something,” with Chris Stapleton) and more. This year’s pop performances will include Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of the classic “American Woman,” and Backstreet Boys with their new song, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”
“Whenever Kelly is involved, she will blow the doors off of it,” Comeaux says, commenting on the pop performances included in this year’s lineup. “For a long time we’ve felt that when you look at music fans, people aren’t stuck in one genre anymore and I think country music reflects that.” Certainly, CMT has had a hand in bringing together pop and country fans over the years, with its long-running, critically-acclaimed CMT Crossroads.
It wouldn’t be the CMT Music Awards without top notch collaborations, and this year there are plenty in the works.
In addition to the Bentley/Brothers Osborne collab, CMT will welcome Darius Rucker along with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Charles Kelley for a first performance of “Straight To Hell,” from Rucker’s When Was The Last Time album.
The performers join previously announced performers Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Jason Aldean and Kelsea Ballerini.
The CMT Music Awards begin Wednesday (June 6) at 8 p.m. ET.
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