October 22nd, 2021
The Country Music Association has announced the first round of country super-star performers for the 55th Annual CMA Awards.
Eric Church will be performing his song, "Heart on Fire," off his Heart album, while Blake Shelton will be performing his single, "Come Back As a Country Boy." Dan + Shay will take the stage for "I Should Probably Go to Bed" off their Good Things album, and Jimmie Allen will deliver a rendition of "Freedom Was a Highway."
Additionally, Brothers Osborne is set to deliver a "deeply personal" performance off their Skeletons album, according to organizers.
The Thursday morning announcement added that the show will feature two collaborations: Ashley McBryde with Carly Pearce performing their new song, "Never Wanted To Be That Girl," and 2021 CMT Breakout Artist of the Year Mickey Guyton featuring Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards, bringing the total revealed performances up to seven for the November Awards show.
CMA also revealed this week that Luke Bryan is replacing Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker as the host for the awards. This marks the first time in 18 years that a single host will host the CMAs.
Country music fans can expect more announcements from CMA in the weeks leading up to the show, as the gala has boasted between 10 and 20 performances in recent years. Presenters for the 2021 CMA Awards are also expected to be released at a later date.
Chris Stapleton and Eric Church lead the CMA nominees, with five nominations each in the same categories: Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Album, Single, and Song of the Year for their songs "Staring Over" and "Hell Of A View" and albums Starting Over and Heart respectively. Church currently holds the 2020 title of Entertainer of the Year, and his 2021 nomination marks the fifth time he has been eligible for the award.
Gabby Barrett trails closely behind Stapleton and Church with four impressive nominations for New Artist, Female Vocalist, Single, and Song of the Year for her song, "The Good Ones."
Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, and Chris Young earned multiple nods, with three nominations apiece for their 2021 projects.
The show will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena at 7 p.m. CT, November 10th on ABC.