‘CMA Country Christmas’ TV Special Kicks Off the Holiday Season
Country music's annual Christmas celebration, the 2015 CMA Country Christmas TV special, aired on Thursday night (Dec. 3), bringing holiday cheer to country music fans with fun performances and unique collaborations.
Host Jennifer Nettles, returning for the sixth year, kicked the night off with a performance of "Man With the Bag" and "Jingle Bell Rock" that featured dozens of dancers, sparkly costumes and Pentatonix. Both artists re-appeared onstage throughout the evening: Pentatonix delighted with "That's Christmas to Me" and "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," while, in addition to her hosting duties, Nettles performed a stirring rendition of "Celebrate Me Home" and a simple version of "Silent Night" that also featured violinist Lindsey Stirling, who played her own "Celtic Carol" earlier in the night.
"Thank you one and all for letting me rock my jingle bells for you again this year," Nettles said at the opening of the show. "... For me and mine, this is a very special night, and thank you all for being a very special part of it."
Pentatonix and Stirling were just two of the non-country artists to grace the CMA Country Christmas stage this year. Additionally, Brian Setzer delivered his rolicking "Rockabilly Rudolph" and helped Nettles close the evening with "Yabba Dabba Yueltide," a Christmas-themed version of the Flintstones instantly recognizable theme song. The house band donned leopard-print jackets for both numbers.
Other highlights from the evening included Kelsea Ballerini's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" -- "This is my favorite classic Christmas song," the rising country star told Nettles. "I remember listening to it when I was super little." -- LeAnn Rimes' "Simply Joy" medley, David Nail's CMA Country Christmas debut with "This Christmas" and Jewel's fun-filled "Sleigh Ride."
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