Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett to host ABC special for CMA Fest

Country music stars Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett will co-host the ABC special for CMA Fest, according to People Country on April 20, 2017. CMA Fest 2017 will be a three-hour special featuring the highlights of the four-day event at Nissan Stadium in Nashville held June 8-11, 2017. The televised show will air later in the summer.  

Ballerini, 23, described her quick ascension from avid teen fan to Nashville insider in the People article, stating,  “Me and my mom and a couple of friends would save up and plan for CMA Fest all year. We had schedules — we had fanny packs! We were very serious.” Now she will host the show, which she called "A full circle moment."

The young star, who was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, has quickly become a Music City insider. Her chart topping hits, including "Love You Like You Mean It," “Yeah Boy,” “Peter Pan," and "Dibs."

Thomas Rhett, who co-hosted the special last year, was crowned the ACM Award for Male Vocalist of the Year in 2017. He also received the ACM Song of the Year for his chart-topping song “Die A Happy Man.” His chart topping hits include "Crash & Burn," "T-Shirt," "Get Me Some of That," "Star of the Show," and "Craving You."

Rhett and Ballerini are friends on and off the stage, according to the People article. Rhett is married and Ballerini is engaged, so when they are on tour together they also spend time hanging out with each other. Rhett stated,  “Every night is somewhat of a double date.”

CMA Fest is a mega country music festival which will feature many of the stars in the industry at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. according to CMT. The list of headliners who will perform includes Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Chris Young, Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, John Anderson, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Tracy Lawrence, and Trace Adkins.

There are still a limited number of tickets to the nightly concerts at CMA Fest. In addition to the CMA Fest concerts, there will be free entertainment at the daytime stages, according to Taste of Country. The free daytime stages will include the Nashville Visitor Center at Bridgestone Arena, Chevrolet Riverfront Stage, Park Stage, Budweiser "Forever Country" Park Stage, and the Gildan Broadway Stage at Hard Rock Cafe.