Thomas Rhett & Lauren Akins host 11th annual holiday music special on ABC
With Christmas just around the corner, the Country Music Association has revealed performers for its annual holiday special, “CMA Country Christmas.” Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Lady A, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, and Darius Rucker with Lindsey Stirling will take the stage for a spirited night of festive classics.
Announced last week on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” husband and wife team Rhett and Lauren Akins, a New York Times bestselling author, will make their TV hosting debut together during the 11th annual music celebration. “CMA Country Christmas” airs Monday, Nov. 30 (9 p.m. ET).
“The idea for this year’s show was to do a throwback of the great Christmas specials of the 1960s and 1970s,” said Robert Deaton, executive producer of “CMA Country Christmas.” “Andy Williams, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra all had classic Christmas specials where the viewer was invited into the homes of the host to celebrate the holiday like a best friend coming to visit. That was what we wanted to create for this year’s show. Instead of a big flashy production, we took a page from those iconic specials to say, ‘Come relax, and let's celebrate the holiday together.’”
Filmed for the first time without a live audience this past September, “CMA Country Christmas” is a production of the Country Music Association. CMA partnered with Balsam Hill to decorate the “CMA Country Christmas” stage again this year.
Lady A (Photo by Dove Shore, provided by ABC Media Relations)