Little Big Town will host this year’s CMA Music Festival in August
This year the country-group ‘Little Big Town’ took home the CMA Vocal Group of the Year award, and they are coming back to ABC for the second time to host the “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock.” The event will air on August 5 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) from executive-producer Robert Deaton.
“We could not be more excited to be coming back as hosts for CMA Music Fest,” exclaimed Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet. “Last year was incredible and we can’t wait to be back in LP Field surrounded by 50,000 screaming fans!” Bandmate Karen Fairchild added, “Country Music truly has the most dedicated fans in the world and we’re looking forward to spending another four days with them.”
“It is great to have Little Big Town back to host ‘Country’s Night to Rock’,” said Deaton. “They have impeccable timing, a terrific sense of humor, the respect of the artistic community, and the admiration of the fans. They are the perfect ensemble cast to host this special.”
The group, consisting of members Fairchild, Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook – first entered the music scene more than 14 years ago with hits such as “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” “Good As Gone,” and the Grammy-nominated single “Little White Church.” The quartet’s fifth studio album, Tornado, was released on Sept. 11, 2012 and debuted at the top of the Billboard Country Chart where it stayed in the No. 1 position for five consecutive weeks. The album has been certified Platinum with sales of more than 1 million copies.
Tornado, produced by Jay Joyce, includes 2x Platinum-selling No. 1 single “Pontoon” and follow-up single and title-track “Tornado,” which also peaked in the No. 1 position. The Grammy-nominated track, “Your Side of the Bed” and fan-favorite “Sober” are also featured on the album.
Collectively, the group has earned more than 25 award nominations, including 15 CMA Awards nods. They have taken home the CMA Awards trophy for CMA Single of the Year (2012, “Pontoon”) and CMA Vocal Group of the Year (2012, 2013). They have also won a Grammy Award for Best Country Group/Duo Performance (“Pontoon”) and an Emmy (Outstanding Original Song, “Good Afternoon”). Last year, the foursome completed their sold-out headlining tour, “The Tornado Tour,” which visited more than 25 theaters in the U.S. and Canada and also recently wrapped a tour with Keith Urban performing in more than 50 cities in North America.
Little Big Town recently completed their sixth studio album working again with producer Joyce. The first single off of the new album entitled “Day Drinking” will be available at iTunes June 2 and will officially hit Country radio June 10. The album is set for release later this year.
Filmed during CMA Music Festival Thursday through Sunday, June 5-8, the special features many of today’s most exciting Country Music stars as they hit the stage during the four-day party and celebration of America’s music. The annual event is unlike any other, with autograph signings in the new AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X, live music on 11 stages, more than 450 artists and celebrities, and a guest list of 80,000 avid singing-and-dancing-till-dawn fans.
The special first aired in 2004. This is the 10th time ABC will broadcast the special – which invites the whole country to America’s largest Country Music celebration. Artists appearing in the television special have not yet been announced. The special will air on ABC through 2021.
The Aug. 12, 2013 airing of “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” (8.3 million and 2.0/6) dominated its three-hour time period, beating CBS (6.1 million and 1.5/4) by wide margins in viewers (+36 percent) and young adults (+33 percent). The “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” spiked over 2012’s telecast (5.7 million and 1.5/4 on 9/17/12) by 46 percent in viewers and by 33 percent in Adults 18-49. In fact, the 2013 special drew the biggest-ever audience on ABC and equaled a seven-year high in Adults 18-49 (since 2006). ABC began airing the annual program in 2005.
Artists performing as part of the sold-out Nightly Concerts at LP Field during 2014 CMA Music Festival include Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Chris Young, and Zac Brown Band. Several legacy acts are performing, too, including The Charlie Daniels Band, Sara Evans, Travis Tritt, and a special guest performance. Performing the national anthem at LP Field will be Danielle Bradbery, Home Free, and young musicians from the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School, which is a beneficiary of The CMA Foundation’s Keep the Music Playing music education charitable campaign.