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Kenny Loggins Excited to Kick Off CMAs With Blake Shelton

Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Each year the CMA Awards is known for starting with a high-energy performance, and tonight’s broadcast is no exception. Blake Shelton will kick off the show with legendary singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins on the pop star’s classic hit ‘Footloose.’

“This is a thrill. I’m having a ball,” Kenny tells The Boot about prepping for the ABC telecast. “I’ve never performed. I’ve been a guest here a few times. I brought Jimmy Messina here for the CMAs one year before our first reunion tour, but this is the first time I’ll have been on the stage. I’m very honored to get to share that stage with Blake.”

Kenny wrote ‘Footloose’ with Dean Pitchford and took the song to the top of the pop charts for three weeks in 1984. With the remake of the popular dance movie currently in theaters, Blake’s new version of the infectious tune is also climbing the charts.

“It feels great,” Kenny says of the song’s rebirth. “I still love that song. For me that’s my ‘Johnny B. Goode.’ I have fun with that and it’s fun to see that that’s the first one that’s coming back around. I expect ‘Danny’s Song’ won’t be far behind it.”

‘Danny’s Song’ is among the singer/songwriter’s most enduring compositions, and in addition to his original, Anne Murray took the song to the Top 10 on the country chart in 1972. Kenny’s vast catalog of hits includes his years in the hit duo Loggins & Messina with Jim Messina, a partnership that spawned such classics as ‘Your Mama Don’t Dance’ as well as his hit-laden solo career that includes ‘This is It,’ ‘I’m Alright,’ ‘Danger Zone,’ ‘House at Pooh Corner’ and ‘Whenever I Call You Friend,’ a duet with Stevie Nicks.

Kenny’s latest project is a collaboration with Nashville songwriters Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman. “We started a band together called Blue Sky Riders,” he notes. “We’ve been together a year and we’re halfway through the making of our first CD. Our co-producer is Peter Asher from the old days. He made a couple of records with me and probably most famously with James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.”

The 45th Annual CMA Awards air live tonight (Nov. 9) at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.

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