Music

Jelly Roll, Ashley McBryde to Host CMA Fest Concert Special

Recent tourmates Jelly Roll and Ashley McBryde are set to co-host this year’s CMA Fest, set to air Tuesday, June 25, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on ABC, and streaming the following day on Hulu.

The three-hour primetime concert special will film in Nashville during the 51st annual CMA Fest, set for June 6-9. The special will highlight top moments from the festival, including surprise collaborations from some of country music’s top artists and never-before-seen performances.

This year’s nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium will feature performances from artists including Jelly Roll, Keith Urban, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Luke Bryan, Cody Johnson, Lainey Wilson, Brittney Spencer, Hardy, “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” hitmaker Shaboozey, McBryde, Thomas Rhett, “Austin” hitmaker Dasha and Bailey Zimmerman. The four-day country music festival will also host hundreds of artists performing on nearly a dozen stages across downtown Nashville.

Last year, two-time CMA Award winner McBryde opened shows on Jelly Roll’s headlining Backroad Baptism Tour. Former Billboard Country Power Players cover star Jelly Roll’s ascent to headlining status has been swift, thanks to his underdog story, his passionate, joyous persona and his genre-fluid hitmaking, topping Billboard rock and country charts, including earning three Country Airplay hits in 2023, with “Son of a Sinner,” “Need a Favor” and his Lainey Wilson collaboration “Save Me.” Last year, he was named the CMA new artist of the year, and earlier this year, he earned two Grammy nominations, including a nomination in the all-genre best new artist category.

His music connects with McBryde’s, in that both have forged unique musical signatures based on country, rock and poetic storytelling arcs–whether that is Jelly Roll’s unfiltered, personal songs of struggles with addiction, McBryde’s songs of small-town aspirations (“Girl Goin’ Nowhere”) or the vivid lyrics that showcase the wilder side of small towns on her album Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville.

McBryde has also earned the respect of not only fans but her industry peers, winning a Grammy for her Carly Pearce collaboration, “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” which also topped the Country Airplay chart in 2022. McBryde has earned six total Grammy nominations to date, including three nominations for best country album, for her projects Girl Going Nowhere, Never Will and the collaborative project Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville.

CMA Fest is produced by the Country Music Association, executive produced and written by Robert Deaton and directed by Alan Carter.

Artists who perform during the festival are not paid for their sets, but volunteer so that sales profits can benefit the nonprofit CMA Foundation, which launched in 2011 with the aim of focusing “on providing sustainability, advocacy and accountability within music education by investing in various resources for students, schools and communities.”

CMA Fest launched as Fan Fair in 1972, drawing 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Over the past half-century, the festival has grown to become Nashville’s signature country music festival, welcoming fans from all 50 states and 39 international countries.

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