Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini have landed the sweet gig of hosting a primetime national television event. CMA Fest 2017 just announced the two hitmakers share co-hosting duties for this year’s telecast.
Filmed over four days in June, CMA Fest 2017 showcases the big names in country music at Nissan Stadium, where the NFL’s Tennessee Titans play. This year’s performers include Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert and more.
ABC takes some of the best moments and puts them together, then airs the whole thing during their primetime special later in the year. Rhett and Ballerini’s co-hosting duties seems like a natural extension of their recent friendship.
Ballerini is currently acting as support for Rhett’s ongoing Home Team Tour, along with Russell Dickerson and Ryan Hurd.
“We’ve been on tour together since February so I think we’ve gained a lot of really cool chemistry and become great friends,” Rhett says of Ballerini. He hosted the gig with Brett Eldredge last year, too. That pair also just came off the road together.
“It was so fun last year,” Rhett explains. “It should be even better this year.”
In addition to the stadium shows, CMA Fest 2017 features hundreds of country acts from all over the spectrum. Up-and-comers, Texas country acts, rising stars and stadium headliners line the streets of Nashville.
The coolest part? They’re all doing it to benefit the CMA Foundation. Which means none of them make any money from the gigs, but all the money the CMA makes goes towards music education. The organization gives millions of dollars to music-focused charities and music education every year.
A big chunk of that change comes from the tickets for the stadium shows. And then, obviously, advertising revenue from airing the whole thing later in the year.