Luke Bryan To Host ‘CMA Best of Fest’ Retrospective ABC Special

The global pandemic may have canceled this year's CMA Fest but the annual ABC-TV special that follows will continue as planned. Luke Bryan will host CMA Best of Fest, a three-hour retrospective airing Thursday, July 9th at 8 p.m. ET. The live concert experience features more than 25 performances having aired on television over the last 16 years of CMA Fest, plus a brand new performance with Luke and special guest Darius Rucker.

Artists appearing in the TV special include: Trace Adkins, Lauren Alaina, Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dan + Shay, Lzzy Hale, Sam Hunt, Joan Jett, Lady A, Miranda Lambert, Lil Nas X, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Dwight Yoakam and Zac Brown Band.

One of the show's superstars, Jason Aldean, has played the main stage at Nissan Stadium during CMA Fest in downtown Nashville for the past several years. He tells us this Festival in particular is a very big deal for both artists and fans. ["It has turned into this mega kind of giant thing over here at this stadium that's really cool and high-tech and, I mean, it's like a cutting-edge deal now. For a lot of these people, this is their vacation. Like I go (on) vacation, I go to the beach. These people go on vacation (and) they come here to see this and that's a big deal, so when we get the chance to go out and play for them you want to give them a good show and make it entertaining and make it worth their vacation, you know what I mean, so it's really exciting. It's really cool. I'm glad I get to be a part of it every year and hopefully they'll keep letting me come back."] SOUNDCUE (:37 OC: . . . me come back.)

CMA Best of Fest will also include special appearances by Jim Gaffigan, Kirk Herbstreit, Peyton Manning, Lionel Richie, Rob Riggle, Gwen Stefani, Michael Strahan and Rita Wilson.

On Wednesday, July 1st, Jimmie Allen and Lindsay Ell will co-host CMA Summer Stay-Cay presented by Budweiser Nitro Gold, a brand new, multi-hour livestream variety event. Fans can tune into CMA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page to catch more than 50 of their favorite Country acts coming together (while safely apart) for unique performances, Q&As, games and much more during this collaborative summertime celebration. The full lineup will be announced in the coming days on the CMA Fest app and

CMA Fest is scheduled to return to downtown Nashville from June 10-13, 2021.

Jason Aldean On Playing Stadium At CMA Fest :