2014 CMA Awards to Feature Surprise Special Guest During Performance
The nominees have been announced, the performers and presenters are set, and the 2014 CMA Awards are just around the corner. And while everyone's wondering who will be crowned Entertainer of the Year, there's another question that begs to be answered: Who is the special surprise guest performer?
CMA's executive producer Robert Deaton tells Billboard only a snippet of what will be happening: "There's going to be a surprise guest in one of our performances from one of the biggest legends of country music of all time. I'll just leave it at that. It's going to be a great moment when people are going to want to get out their phones."
While the identity of that particular star remains an elusive and mysterious part of the evening, fans can be sure that the plethora of already announced performers will knock the socks (and cowboy boots) off fans and viewers.
Deaton elaborates on Miranda Lambert's highly anticipated duet with pop singer Meghan Trainor, saying, "In Meghan's case, that came together pretty organically. She's from Nashville. She's got two songs on Rascal Flatts' new record. I thought it'd be fun to have her on the show.
"She wanted to perform with Miranda because Miranda was the first artist that she knew of that had commented on the song ['All About That Bass'] and how much she liked it, and what a fan she was. It came from that," he adds. "We reached out to Miranda. She's like, 'Absolutely! I love it!' So we put that performance together."
While the pairing may seem rather random, Deaton explains that each performer is picked for a reason.
"When we make those offers, we look at, 'Okay, what is something unique? What's something that we can put on here that has not been seen? What's an artist collaboration that would create lots of discussion and talk?'" he says.
"Those are combinations that you would not normally think of -- something different, something out of the box," Deaton says.
"Then, of course, you want to look at our biggest superstars and put our best foot forward," he adds. "For example, Kenny [Chesney] has not done the show in two years. He's come back with a fabulous album, and his first single, 'American Kids,' was just fresh and new, and so Kenny will be on the show."
Even though there are many, many awards shows on television -- and the number seemingly grows every year -- Deaton says the thing that sets the CMA Awards apart from the rest of the pack is longevity.
"The CMA was the first association to serve one genre of music," he says. "Another thing that sets this show apart is that we're voted on by industry members, so the people that sitting out there -- Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town -- all those artists are voted upon by their peers. It's their peers saying, 'You know what? We loved your album.' That's important."
"With Brad and Carrie out there, you know what show it is. That's very important to us right now, especially since are so many award shows," Deaton says. "And also the presentation of the music -- we really strive hard to give each performer their own mini concert. We go to great strides to make individual performance different, where everything just doesn't look the same."
The 2014 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (Nov. 5) at 8PM ET on ABC.