Country music superstar Reba McEntire kicked off the 2017 musical holiday TV special season by hosting “CMA Country Christmas” 2017 last night, (Nov. 27) on ABC. Some of the biggest names in music hit the stage at Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry to perform holiday classics and share holiday memories in the festive two-hour, eighth annual music event that was geared to put us all in the Christmas spirit. All the performances were incredible and it was admittedly tough to rank only five. After much consideration, we chose our picks for the Top 5 best musical moments from “CMA Country Christmas” 2017 below.
5. Little Big Town and Reba McEntire – “Mary, Did You Know?”
Mark Lowry wrote the lyrics for this haunting, contemporary Christmas song with music by Buddy Greene. Christian music artist Michael English recorded it first for his eponymous 1991 debut solo album. The harmonies Reba and Little Big Town delivered on this song were breathtaking. Collectively, they are five of the biggest stars in country music and their stunning collaboration on this song offered one of the most beautiful reflections of the religious significance of Christmas.
Up-and-coming brotherly country duo Christian and Brody Clementi aka CB30, caught Luke Bryan’s attention while performing at a charity event. He was so impressed he helped them break into the music industry. They made their CMA Country Christmas debut with a sparkling, heartfelt rendition of the timeless Christmas classic song “The Christmas Song.” CB30 injected a youthful, bright energy into the beloved track and their arrangement and harmonies were spot on.
3. Kelsea Ballerini – “White Christmas”
Grammy-nominated rising country star Kelsea Ballerini tackled a tall order by taking on Bing Crosby’s indelible Christmas song “White Christmas.” She simply knocked it out of the park with her lovely, shimmering vocals that immediately conjured up visions of glistening treetops and a wintery wonderland. No other song can arguably draw us so quickly into the Christmas spirit than this legendary song and Ballerini delivered a magical rendition.
2. CeCe Winans – “Joy to the World”
Legendary Grammy-winning gospel artist CeCe Winans brought her signature, soulful, gospel-infused enthusiasm to the cherished Christmas hymn that celebrates Christ’s arrival. “Joy to the World” is an upbeat, fun, sing-a-long song. Backed by a full choir, CeCe Winans revved up the crowd with her infectious energy and pure, unbridled joy that brought one of the best “feel-good” moments of the night.
1. Reba McEntire – Christmas Song Medley
Reba McEntire proved herself to be the perfect “CMA Country Christmas” host in pulling off multiple sparkly outfit changes and entertaining everyone. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the reigning “Queen of Country” snagged the top spot in our ranking for her indelible Christmas medley. Her soft, signature vocals stood out brilliantly against the piano-only accompaniment as she sang treasure Christmas standards, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” Overall, her performance served up the ultimate “CMA Country Christmas” holiday treat.
Stay tuned to AXS for updates and information on Reba McEntire, Kelsea Ballerini and all your favorite country artists. Check out our Holiday TV Guide 2017 for a list of more upcoming holiday musical specials.