If you can only watch part of the 2015 Country Music Association Awards next month, make sure it’s the first 15 minutes. The county music extravaganza is set to to deliver a must-see opener, with one of the night's biggest nominees, Eric Church, collaborating with country rock legend Hank Williams Jr., according to Broadway World on Monday.
Church, who will perform “Are You Ready for the Country” with Williams, is nominated in several of the biggest categories at this year’s CMA Awards, including his first-ever Entertainer of the Year nod. He’s also up for Best Male Vocalist; Single of the Year for "Talladega;" Song of the Year for "Like A Wrecking Ball;" and Musical Event of the Year for "Raise 'Em Up" with pal Keith Urban. Incidentally, Williams won the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award in 1987 and 1988.
The 49th Annual CMA Awards will also feature the return of longtime CMA hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. The perfectly paired duo has repeatedly showed off their chemistry as hosts of the show, and their opening monologue is always highly anticipated. This year marks Paisley and Underwood’s eighth time as CMA co-hosts. In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, CMA scriptwriter David Wild described Paisley and Underwood as a “country Sonny & Cher.” The country music superstars have hosted the annual awards show more years in a row than anyone except for Vince Gill.
In a statement about the iconic opening performance and monologue, CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern said, "If you don't see the first 15 minutes of the CMA Awards live, you will be grasping for straws at the proverbial water cooler the next morning." Sounds like a DVR won’t cut it for this opening act.
The 49th Annual CMA Awards will air live on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. on ABC.