In addition to all of the amazing performances at this year’s CMA Music Fest, there were also some surprise appearances. Carrie Underwood performed at Nissan Stadium (home to the Tennessee Titans) and during her set, she brought out the legendary Joan Jett to perform a medley of the rocker’s hits (“I Hate Myself for Loving You,” “Bad Reputation,” “Crimson and Clover”).
Keith Urban surprised the crowd on Saturday night to join Billy Ray Cyrus and L’il Nas X at the Stadium to perform the No. 1 song in the nation, “Old Town Road.”
Eric Church hit the stage at Nissan Stadium on Friday (June 7th) accompanied by his acoustic guitar to perform a 30-minute medley of several of his hits, including “Drink in My Hand,” “Mr. Misunderstood,” “Talladega,” “Smoke a Little Smoke,” “Round Here Buzz” and many more.
Jon Pardi surprised the Nissan Stadium crowd during Thomas Rhett‘s set to perform “Beer Can’t Fix” from TR’s new album, Center Point Road complete with a koozie-covered beer.
On Thursday, legendary duo Brooks & Dunn surprised the audience when they stepped onstage during Brothers Osborne‘s set to perform “Hard Workin’ Man,” which is featured on B&D’s new Reboot album. TJ and John also brought up their friend Ashley McBryde to perform her cut on the duo’s album of their huge hit, “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” also featured on Reboot.
Carrie Underwood (CMA Fest-Joan Jett) OC: …off on me. :25
“I get to sing with Joan Jett, guys! Whooooo! (I’m) super excited. I feel like we’ve had connections and bumped into each other in various places, and the stars just aligned. It was kind of like, ‘What if Joan Jett came to CMA Fest?’ ‘Well, let’s ask her.’ So, she’s here. The coolness has arrived, and I’m hoping some of it rubs off on me.”
Carrie Underwood (CMA Fest-Joan Jett) 2 OC: …sing with me. :25
“Just hearing her songs on the radio and the more I got to know and see just how much of a trailblazer she was for, not just women in her genre of music, but women in music in general…I mean, I’m a fan on every level — personally, professionally, musically and honored that she’s heard my name before and agreed to come sing with me.”
Keith Urban (CMA Fest-Old Town Road) OC: …with him last night. :23
“I just loved the song when I heard it. I love the record too, you know? Those are sometimes very separate things – the song to the record — but I just loved it and wanted to do my little cover version of it on my ganjo. From that very spontaneous moment, Nas saw the piece that I did and really loved it apparently, and next thing you know, I’m playing with him (and Billy Ray) last night.”
Jon Pardi (Thomas Rhett song) OC: …short hair now. (laughs) :44
“So (claps), me and Thomas (Rhett) go back to the long hair days — two songwriters trying to figure out who they’re gonna be in country music. I was so happy when he texted me and asked me to be a part of this record, and I was like, ‘Of course! Like come on! What song?’ He sent me two and we decided to sing ‘Beer Can’t Fix,’ ’cause it’s an anthem. It’s a no-brainer. For two male artists to sing a song together, I think it’s perfect. it’s about, well, drinking a beer. It’s fun, and I would say there’s a full-circle (moment) for me and him to walk out on Nissan and sing, for the first time ever, this song together. I don’t know. I think it’s cool, and we have short hair now.” (laughs)
Brothers Osborne (Brooks & Dunn) OC: …of us both. :46
First we were asked, ‘Are you guys fans of Brooks & Dunn?’ I just thought it was a ridiculous question to ask if you’re not a fan of Brooks & Dunn, then you shouldn’t be in this genre. But, so then it was like, ‘What song are we gonna do?’ Then it was a little tough because Ronnie’s voice is so high and obviously, I have a baritone voice, of trying to get a song to work for both of our strengths, and then a song that lends itself to a lot of guitar parts and then ‘Hard Workin’ Man,’ it became pretty obvious that was a really great song, but that also took abandoning one of the guitar hooks in that song. It was just crazy, because we wanted to do it like Brooks & Dunn did it, because we just love the song, and they wanted to do it like we would do it. It was a really interesting thing. I think the way that it turned out was really great. I’m really proud of it, and I think it really is a perfect kind of mix of us both.”