'CMA Fest': Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini to host ABC special

Annie Martin
Thomas Rhett will emcee the CMA Fest concert special Aug. 4 on ABC. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Thomas Rhett will emcee the "CMA Fest" concert special Aug. 4 on ABC. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

June 4 (UPI) -- Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini will host the 2019 CMA Fest special on ABC.

The Country Music Association confirmed in a press release Tuesday the country music stars will emcee the three-hour primetime concert special Aug. 4.


2019 marks Rhett's fourth consecutive year as host and Ballerini's third. Bobby Bones will serve as a special guest host during this year's special.

"CMA Fest is always the summer's must-see music event with the biggest names in Country Music," ABC Entertainment senior vice president of alternative series, specials and late-night programming Rob Mills said. "With Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini returning for their third year and Bobby Bones joining them as special guest host, we know this summer's festival will knock it out of the park."

The CMA Fest special will be filmed during the four-day CMA Fest music festival June 6-9 in Nashville, Tenn. Ballerini performs at the festival Thursday, while Rhett takes the stage Friday.

"This year's CMA Fest offers something for every music fan," CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said. "From surprise collaborations to some of Country Music's most exciting emerging and legendary talent, we're excited to bring the festival to millions of fans around the world later this summer."

Other CMA Fest performers include Brothers Osborne, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Dan + Shay, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert & the Pistol Annies.

Rhett is known for the singles "It Goes Like This," "Die a Happy Man" and "Marry Me," and last released the album Center Point Road in May. Ballerini released the album Unapologetically in November 2017.

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