Thomas Rhett And Brett Eldredge To Host ABC’s 2016 ‘CMA Music Festival’

After an attendance record-breaking event, Thomas Rhett and Brett Eldredge have been given the honor to host ABC’s 2016 CMA Music Festival TV special in August. The GMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock is the network’s 12th time to air the three-hour event, which was recorded last month.

Thomas Rhett is having a banner year releasing two Platinum No. 1 hit singles, “Crash And Burn” and “Die A Happy Man” from his second album, Tangled Up.

“As a fan, CMA Music Fest was always the biggest event of the year for me. Some of my favorite memories are me and my buddies sitting in the nosebleeds watching our heroes play,” says Rhett. “It’s surreal and a huge honor to be hosting and performing on this stage.”

Meanwhile, Brett Eldredge recently released his new single, “Wanna Be That Song” and has celebrated his fifth No. 1 single, “Drunk On Your Love,” both from his second album, Illinois. The album debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.

“I’ve played my heart out on every size stage at CMA Fest, from the crowds of 20 to the big stadium, because I love the energy of the festival and the country music fans so much… And now I get to host the whole thing with one of my best pals. You can’t beat that!”

The two work well together having just wrapped up their CMT on Tour: Brett Eldredge & Thomas Rhett – Suits & Boots. In addition to their hosting duties for the GMA Music Festival, Rhett and Eldredge will perform solo acts as well as a performance together with Luke Bryan and Keith Urban. Other unique pairings of both country and rock music stars for this year’s TV special include Dierks Bentley with Elle King, Lady Antebellum with Cam, Little Big Town with Pharrell Williams, Rascal Flatts with Maren Morris, Steven Tyler with Martina McBride, Hank Williams, Jr. with Chris Janson and Justin Moore, and Chris Young duetting with Cassadee Pope.

The CMA Music Festival TV special will also spotlight numerous solo performances with Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Cole Swindell, Steven Tyler, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.


Paring down all of the acts performed at the 2016 GMA Music Festival is no easy task. The festival featured more than 600 music artists who performed on 11 different stages. This year’s event sold out months in advance and had a record-selling attendance of about 88,500 fans each day.

“The advance sell out speaks to the strength of the event, but great weather, the addition of two new, free stages at Ascend Amphitheater, and record crowds at Fan Fair X at the Music City Center contributed to our attendance hike,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern.

“We continue to see strong local and regional support for this event, which is a boon to the city of Nashville.”

Tickets for the 2017 CMA Music Festival went on sale today. Fans can order tickets by visiting or calling the CMA Box Office at 1-800-262-3378.

ABC first aired America’s largest country music festival in 2004 and is expected to continue airing the special through 2021. This year’s special airs Wednesday, August 3 from 8:00-11:00 p.m. (EDT).

[Image via ABC]