Hank JR and Eric Church To Kick Off CMA Awards

Duo will perform the world debut of Hank Williams Jr.’s new song from his forthcoming Nash Icon album. Then, Carrie and Brad will perform their fan-favorite monologue.

It’s now time to start hearing the performers for the CMA Awards, this year is #49, and the news of Eric Church and Hank Jr performing has been issued. The current top country/rocker will perform with the iconic “original” country/rocker on one of his new songs before Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood usher in a few yuks with their time-tested monologue with will take up the first 15 minutes of the highly-rated ABC TV Network award program.

“If you don’t see the first 15 minutes of the CMA Awards live, you will be grasping for straws at the proverbial watercooler the next morning,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern. “It is that good and it is just the beginning of a great night of entertainment.”

Church’s nominations include Entertainer (his first nomination in the category); Male Vocalist; Single of the Year for “Talladega,” which was produced by Jay Joyce and Arturo Buenahora, Jr.;  Song of the Year for “Like A Wrecking Ball,” which he wrote with Casey Beathard; and Musical Event of the Year for “Raise ‘Em Up” with Keith Urban. He will be performing “Are You Ready For the Country” with Williams – himself a two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year (1987, 1988).

The song, which was written and recorded by Neil Young and later recorded by Waylon Jennings, “is the perfect narrative for the night,” said CMA Awards Executive Producer Robert Deaton. “It sets up musically everything that is going to happen for the rest of the show.”

The show will air from 8/7 East and Central and Pacific and Mountain time zones.