CMA Fest: Dan + Shay, Carly Pearce + More Praise the TV Special

The CMA Fest TV special airs tonight (July 19) on ABC, featuring highlights from the four-day event, held last month in Nashville. Hosted by Dierks BentleyLainey Wilson and Elle King, the televised special features performances by Keith Urban, AlabamaLuke Combs, including a song with Vince GillEric ChurchCarly PearceCody Johnson with Reba McEntireHARDYAshley McBrydeLuke Bryan and more.

Keep reading to find out why some of the artists are such big fans of CMA Fest.

Lainey Wilson:

“I’m so excited to be co-hosting the CMA Fest with Dierks and Elle. I love them as people. I love them as artists. I look up to both of them in different ways. I think Elle is a spitfire. I think Dierks has a heart of gold … I love them very, very much, and I’m so glad that I get to be on both sides of the CMA Fest this year. It’s a big learning curve for me, but the truth is, I kind of feel right at home.”

Courtesy of CMA / Natasha Moustache

Carly Pearce:

“CMA Fest to me is the most unique experience and weekend in any genre of music, because we as artists count on the fans to make our words go around, and they do. And what it means to me is just to be able to give back to them and love on them, and give them unique experiences and just say, ‘Thank you. Thank you for all of my dreams coming true.'”

Courtesy of CMA / Hunter Berry

Jo Dee Messina:

“This CMA Fest, it’s the 50th anniversary of CMA Fest, or Fan Fair, as they used to call it. It’s also a couple of years after COVID, the pandemic, where we weren’t allowed to do all of this. So I think the enjoyment, and just — they get plugged back in. I hope fans walk away with that reconnection to the artists.”

Courtesy of CMA / Josh Brasted

Dan + Shay’s Dan Smyers:

“CMA Fest is one of the greatest weeks of the entire year, every single year. Everybody in country music is here in one place. Usually, we’re all out on the road in different places. It’s such a community. For us artists, getting to spend time with our friends, our family, being here at the stadium, hanging out, drink beers in the parking lot. All of the greatest country music fans come from all over the world, right here in Nashville, Tennessee, where we call our hometown. It’s just a huge party week, and not just here in the stadium, but all around town. There’s stages, there’s music everywhere.”

Courtesy of CMA / Natasha Moustache

Jason Aldean:

“I like to call this a greatest hits package. You put the greatest hits into a set, go out there and hit them hard and fast with all of the big songs you think they want to hear. It’s quick and fun, more so than a long show, where you’re creating this ride for the audience, up and down. This one’s going to be come out swinging, and it’s going to be that pretty much the whole time.”

Courtesy of CMA / John Russell

Luke Bryan:

“Just the energy of everybody coming in to love on Nashville, the town love on country music. And to go immerse themselves in all of what Nashville has grown to be, and what CMA Fest has grown to be too. They’ve both grown together to really showcase a really special city, a musical city, and a city where people can come and really be themselves and have fun.”

Courtesy of CMA / Hunter Berry


See a list of performances for the CMA Fest TV special below. The show will air at 9:00 PM ET on ABC. Tickets for the 2024 CMA Fest are on sale now at

CMA Fest Performances:

Alabama — “Mountain Music”
Jason Aldean — “Try That In A Small Town”
Dierks Bentley — “Gold”
Luke Bryan — “But I Got A Beer In My Hand”
Eric Church — “Smoke a Little Smoke”/ “Bad Mother Trucker”
Luke Combs — “Love You Anyway”
Dan + Shay — “Speechless”
Jordan Davis — “Buy Dirt”
Vince Gill and Luke Combs — “One More Last Chance”
HARDY featuring Lainey Wilson — “wait in the truck”
Tyler Hubbard — “Dancin’ In The Country”
Jelly Roll – “Need A Favor”
Cody Johnson — “’Til You Can’t”
Cody Johnson and Reba McEntire — “Whoever’s In New England”
Elle King featuring Miranda Lambert — “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”
Miranda Lambert and Leon Bridges — “If You Were Mine”
Miranda Lambert and Avril Lavigne — “Kerosene/Sk8er Boi”
Little Big Town — “Wine, Beer, Whiskey”
Ashley McBryde — “Light On In The Kitchen”
Tim McGraw — “Standing Room Only”
Jo Dee Messina and Carly Pearce — “I’m Alright”
Old Dominion — “Memory Lane”
Jon Pardi — “Your Heart Or Mine”
Carly Pearce — “What He Didn’t Do”
Darius Rucker — “Fires Don’t Start Themselves”
Tanya Tucker with Elle King and Lainey Wilson — “Texas (When I Die)”
Keith Urban — “Wild Hearts”
Lainey Wilson — “Watermelon Moonshine”