It’s officially the holiday season, and what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with some awesome Christmas music?! Last night, country musicians, as well as, some special guests, took the stage at Belmont University in Tennessee for ABC’s annual CMA Country Christmas special. Country music legend, Reba McEntire hosted as well as performed during the TV special.
The show featured some wonderful country artists, including the Christmas crooner himself, Brett Eldredge, Old Dominion, Dan + Shay, Brett Young, Martina McBride, Dustin Lynch, Brad Paisley, and more. Additionally, jazz musicians Tony Bennett, and Diana Krall took the stage, during an epic duet.
McEntire opened the show with a witty and heartfelt monologue, as the stage was fully transformed into a ‘Winter Wonderland.’ She gave the audience the first performance of the night singing, “The Man With The Bag,” as little kids dressed in elves, energetically danced around the stage. This set the tone for the rest of the night of memorable performances.
One of the highlights of the night was super-duo Dan + Shay’s rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” The boys gave the audience a jazz-inspired, but still country cover of the classic Christmas song. On lead vocals, Shay’s voice truly shined, and the duo could easily cut the song as their own. The vocals, the violinists, and Dan’s guitar skills mesmerized the audience, as well as the viewers watching at home. Check out the full performance here.
Brett Young gave fans at Belmont University another great and unique cover, with “Mary, Did You Know.” Introduced by McEntire as “ Another young star in the making,” the singer-songwriter aced his performance. His always smooth-vocals translated effortlessly into the lyrics and vibe of this Christmas song. The beautiful, snowy backdrop was a perfect addition to the performance. Watch the performance here.
Of course, it would not be a country special, if we did mention Brett Eldredge’s rendition of “Silver Bells,” which he recorded on his Christmas Album Glow. Donning a blue velvet suit, Eldredge showed why fans like to refer to him as the ‘King of Christmas.’ The singer gave a bluesy twist to the Christmas classic. Fans can watch here. Eldredge made his way back to the stage to perform “Holly Jolly Christmas” later in the segment.
Although many of the artists infused some hints of other genres into their performances, Dustin Lynch with “Deck the Halls” and Brad Paisley with “Away in a Manger,” gave fans the full-on classic countrified Christmas songs with their performances.
Nearing the end of the special, McEntire came back on stage to engage with the audience once again, “We’ve all had such a wonderful time tonight. Thanks so much for making CMA Country Christmas your new favorite holiday tradition. Before we go, I have one more treat for you.”
Following the sentiment, Dan + Shay, Brett Eldredge, Lindsay Sterling, Dustin Lynch, and other performers of the night came back to the stage for a group performance of one of the most classic wintery songs, “Let It Snow.” It truly was an amazing ending to an awesome night of Christmas music. Merry Christmas Everyone!
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